NOTES ON SURNAMES (HULL) 46
OXTOBY Another East Riding surname, and another name ignored by the compilers of surname dictionaries. Only K.H. Rogers (Vikings and Surnames) has anything to say about Oxtoby. He suggests that it was Owsteby originally, and that it identified someone whose home was either at the east end of a village, or east of a village.
Certainly there is no place on record called Oxtoby or Owsteby/Oustiby. My own search for early Oxtobys supports Rogers’ suggestion of a changed spelling. I have found no Oxtoby on record prior to the seventeenth century, but Oustiby does occur in the East Riding.
Thomas Oustiby and wife Dionisia were assessed for the poll tax in Howdenshire, 1379. (Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol.ix)
Thomas Oustiby at Newbald, 1381
Thomas Oustiby and wife at ‘Howom’, 1381
John Oustiby and wife at ‘Howom’, 1381
(Y.A.J. vol.xx; ‘Howom’ is Holme on Spalding Moor)
Robert Owsteby, wright, freeman of York, 1455. (Surtees, vol. 96)
Owstaby and Oxtoby are both found in East Yorkshire in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Oxtoby births and marriages are recorded in the Hull civil registers from their introduction in the 1830s.