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Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Baxby, Baxbe, Backsby, Bagsby and others.
First found in the North Riding of Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor at Baxby. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Baxby who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. In the Domesday Hugh FitzBaldric held the village as under tenant from the Archbishop of York.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bagsby research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bagsby History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Bagsby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bagsby or a variant listed above: Ella Baxby, aged 18, who arrived at Ellis Island from Liverpool, England, in 1910; and John Baxby, aged 56, who arrived at Ellis Island from Liverpool, England, in 1919..
The Bagsby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bagsby Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 14 February 2014 at 17:50.