Proof of different spellings

Many have long-held the belief that there are many ways to spell the same 'Spybey' / 'Spiby' etc surname. Research has revealed numerous cases of surname spelling changes between offspring and father and even within the lifetime of individuals. My own great grandfather William Spybey (1836-1894) of Lambley appears to be a good example. His birth certificate spells his surname Spibey, whilst his marriage certificate has the spelling Spybey, whilst his father (Alfred Spiby) was Spyby in Lambley Parish Records and Spiby in another record.

It is well nigh impossible to state which is the most likely original spelling of the surname. Certainly, there are more Spiby's than any other spellings, however, many spellings can be found as far back as the 1500s. Back in such times the name is more likely to have been passed down verbally rather than in the written form.

As yet we have no proof that the 'Spivey' surname is related to the 'Spiby's.

2 distinct UK branches

By extensively analysing pre-20th Century records, we can safely conclude that the 'Spiby' surname was most popular in two regions - Nottinghamshire & Lancashire. In particular, the Lambley, Nottinghamshire branch and the Croston, Lancashire branch are the two areas that are best recorded. We've managed to trace these two branches of the family back to the 1600s. Why they ended up in these places is not known, but we cannot find a link between the Nottinghamshire & Lancashire Spiby's.

The Leicestershire Spiby's are quite possibly linked to the Nottinghamshire branch. Though again, more research is required to establish this possibility.

Meaning of 'Spiby'

Several theories are abound about the meaning of the 'Spybey' / 'Spiby' etc surname.

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