This is an English locational surname, but of Danish-Viking pre 8th century origins. It derives from the village of Walby near Carlisle in Cumberland, or Waulby near Hull, both areas being under Scandinavian influence. The translation of the name is probably 'the bi (farm) by the (Roman) wall', according to the 'Dictionary of English Place Names', and this seems quite a logical explanation. The village is recorded in the year 1292 in the spelling of 'Walleby', and in 1354 in the modern and surname form of 'Walby'.The surname recordings are generally later, and the earliest recordings seem to be found in the London registers. This suggests that probably around the time of the first Enclosure Acts in the reign of Henry V111 (1510 - 1547), the tenants or at least most of them, were dispossessed from their common grazing rights, and driven out by the landlord to fend for themselves. These unfortunate people headed for London where they were given as their surname that of their former village. Examples of these recordings include Edward Walby, who married Rose Elliott at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on November 22nd 1607, whilst on February 3rd 1679, Thomas Walby married Jane Rey at St Mary's church, Carlisle. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cuthbert Walby, which was dated June 14th 1562, married at St Botolphs Bishopgate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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