Busbee Busby Surname Origin




The name, Busby and its variation - Busbee, Buzby, etc, originated in England where surnames were not used until about the tenth century. The addition of a family name after a given name probably evolved over a considerable time span and reflected something intimately associated with an individual such as a family characteristic, occupation or place of abode.

English places named Busby probably acquired their names from families living in their vicinities; those places do not, however, appear to have been destined to attain fame. Frank Ssmith's, THE GENEALOGICAL GAZETTEER (OF ENGLAND), identifies Great Busby as a township parish in Stokesbury North Riding, population of 106. Bushby hamlet parish of Thurnby, Leicestershire County is credited with a population of 86. In similar publications that were reviewed no other Busby place names were listed. But the COLUMBIA LIPPINCOTT GAZETTEER OF THE WORLD lists Busby, a town in Mearns Parish, East Renfrew, Scotland, five miles south southwest of Glasgow and indicates cotton milling.

Students of the origins of words attribute many English words to languages of early invaders - Latin, French, Scandinavian - with the eary Danish leaving the greatest imprint for names of people and places. Busby and Bushby appear to have derived from 'BUSKI', Scandinavian for shrub.

Middlesex County, England is mentioned as the home of some Busbys who emigrated to America in Colonial times . London adjoined Middlesex County or was a part of it until 1889 at which time the city incorporated in itself portions of Middlesex, Essex, Kent and Surrey Counties and formed London County. In 1965, London took the remainder of Middlesex County. Such changes add to the complexities of tracing Busbys in England to destinations in America.

One source claims the first appearance of the name in a written document was in 1273 when John Bussebe, a land owner, was levied a hearth tax. (the name is also reported as John Busseby, in Oxfordshire's HUNDRED ROLLS) Other sources say Busby was spelled Buschebi in 1086, Bucebi in 1176, Buseby in 1270 and, that lands in Scotland were spelled Busbie in 1542, Bushby in 1787 - but that the meaning was the same as that of Busby in Yorkshire. The name was evolving toward its future spellings.

In Scotland, David de Busby was a notary in Glasgow in 1330, John Busby (or Busseby) was conon of Moray in 1408 and 1411. Gawin Busbe was accused of murder in 1526 but his case was nol-prossed. James Busbie sold books in Edinburg in 1648. Ann Busbie is listed in the Register of St. Dionis Backchurch, in London, in 1595.

Richard de Busby and Adam de Buskeby were recorded in Yorkshire's Poll Tax Returns in 1379. Ogier Chislain de Busbecq, 1522-1592, is mentioned in the Virginia Historical Society files (Rare Z986 R2 B85) which provides no other information about him..

Thomas Busby, of Meyford, Staffordshire, disposed of his property in a will proved 19 Nov 1584 (b.1520 - d. 1584). His kinsman, Geoffrey Busby, was the executor. Interestingly, about 75 years afterwards in Virginia, another Thomas Busby would name his son Jeffrey or Geoffrey, both names having been reported.

In 1586, Ralphe Busby, a successful business man, was admitted a freeman of the Grocer's Company of England. Later he was a member of the East India Company, the NorthWest Passage Company and became a stockholder in the Virginia Company's Second Charter of 23 May 1609.

More famous was Richard Busby, mentioned in English history at the time of Oliver Cromwell, the mid-1600's. Richard (1606-1695), born at Lincolnshire, became headmaster or president of Westminister School and many of his students became famous. Among them were John Locke, John Dryden and Francis Atterbury. He claimed to have birched (whipped) at least sixteen future bishops of the Church of England. He is buried in Westminister Abbey.

Also of considerable renown was Thomas Busby (1755-1838), music composer, writer and organist at Saint Mary's Church, Newington. John and Robert Busby are named as officers serving in Portugal in English Army Lists and Registers 1707-1714. Though historical evidence is scant there were and are Busbys in Ireland.

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