Show ContentsBusby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scottish history reveals Busby was first used as a surname by the Strathclyde-Briton people. It was a name for someone who lived in East Renfrewshire at Busby, a village "partly in the parish of East Kilbride, Middle ward of the county of Lanark." [1] Alternatively the name could have been derived from Great Busby in Yorkshire which dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 and was listed as Buschebi. [2] In either case, this place name is most likely derived from the Norman buki, meaning "bush" or "shrub."

Early Origins of the Busby family

The surname Busby was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland. The name is derived from "the lands of Busby or Busbie in the parish of Carmunnock, Renfrewshire.

In 1330, the office of notary was conferred on David de Busby of the diocese of Glasgow. " [3] Further to the south in England, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Ricardus de Busby, and Adam de Buskeby. [4]

"During the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries the Busbys of Radford and Gagingwell were well - to - do Enstone yeomen, who frequently filled the office of churchwarden and other places of trust. William Busby was one of the trustees for Lady Le Strange of Middleton in the reign of Henry VI.. William Busby, gent., was an assistant - burgess of Banbury in 1718, in which town the name still occurs. Busby is the name of a parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire." [5]

Early History of the Busby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Busby research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1408, 1411, 1488, 1491, 1526, 1648, 1606, 1695, 1635, 1695, 1644, 1695, 1755, 1769, 1786 and 1799 are included under the topic Early Busby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Busby Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Busby has been spelled Busby, Busbe, Busbie and others.

Early Notables of the Busby family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was The Rev. Dr. Richard Busby (1606-1695), an English clergyman, and headmaster of Westminster School, buried in Westminster Abbey. Nathaniel Bisby or Bisbie (1635-1695), was an English divine, son of the Rev. John Bisbie, of Tipton, Staffordshire, who was ejected from a rebend in Lichfield Cathedral about 1644. At the Restoration he was resented to the rectory of Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk. He died 14 May 1695, and was buried at Long Melford. [6] Thomas Busby was born in Westminster, 1755...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Busby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Busby Ranking

In the United States, the name Busby is the 1,848th most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [7]

United States Busby migration to the United States +

Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary North America. Among them:

Busby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anne Busby, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Ann Busby, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [8]
  • Thomas Busby, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Nicholas Busby, who settled in Boston in 1637 with his wife Bridget and three sons and a daughter
  • Tho Busby, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Busby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Busby, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Joseph Busby, who arrived in New York in 1795 [8]
Busby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Busby, who landed in South Carolina in 1800 [8]
  • Mathew Busby, aged 24, who landed in New York in 1812 [8]
  • John Busby, who landed in New York, NY in 1835 [8]
  • R Busby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]

Canada Busby migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Busby Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Margaret Busby, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1838 aboard the schooner "Susan Jane" from Ballyshannon, Ireland

New Zealand Busby migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Busby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Busby, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1839
  • James Busby, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Busby, aged 28, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Mary Busby, aged 24, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Mr. Busby, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "HMS Driver" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 20th January 1846 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Busby (post 1700) +

  • Eileen Rose Busby (1922-2005), American author and antiques expert
  • Thomas Jefferson Busby (1884-1964), American politician, U.S. Representative from Mississippi (1923-1935)
  • George Henry Busby (1794-1869), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1851-1853)
  • Francis Marion Busby (1921-2005), American science fiction writer, co-winner of the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine in 1960
  • Thad Busby (b. 1974), former American football quarterback
  • James Franklin Busby (1927-1996), American Major League Baseball center fielder
  • Steven Lee Busby (b. 1949), retired American Major League Baseball starting pitcher
  • Michael James Busby (b. 1972), American retired Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Andrew Douglas "Drew" Busby (1947-2022), Scottish footballer who played for Third Lanark, Airdrieonians, Hearts, Toronto Blizzard and Morton. Busby also served Queen of the South as their player-manager
  • Sir Alexander Matthew "Matt" Busby CBE, KCSG (1909-1994), Scottish football player and manager
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Frank Busby, British Stoker 2ne Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [10]

Suggested Readings for the name Busby +

  • A Compilation of Facts Regarding the Family of Isaac Busby of Monroe County, West Virginia, and Some of His Descendants by Dorothy Busgby.
  • Nicholas Busby by James William Hawes.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  10. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook