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Home: Surnames: Pontefract Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Mary PONTEFRACT, 1792, Wooldale, England
Posted by: Richard Brezet (ID *****5603) Date: June 25, 2004 at 23:43:52
In Reply to: Re: Mary PONTEFRACT, 1792, Wooldale, England by Timothy Richards of 19


Just spotted your posting, wondering about "Westby" as a surname.

Any name ending with "-by" (= bee) is usually from England, but it has Norwegian or Danish (Viking ?) roots from around AD 700 to AD 900. "-by" simply means "group of houses, settlement, town, village" in Norwegian or Danish. In your case, the name "West-by" is just a geographical reference (literally meaning "a place west of the town" or perhaps "a town in the west" of the country).

One of the more familiar surnames was "the place where the roads crossed", or "the town where a crossroads existed", first knwon as "cross-by", which eventually became the modern surname "Crosby".

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