This interesting surname is of Scandinavian origin, and is a locational name from two places so called in Yorkshire, and Lazonby in Cumbria. The derivation is from the Old Norse "Leysingr", meaning freedman, with "by", a village or a homestead. "Leysing" was also used as a byname, so this name may mean "Leysings' village", or the "freedmans village". Lazenby near Ormesby in Yorkshire appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Le(i)singebi", while Lazenby near Northallerton appears as "Leisinghi", and Lazenby in Cumbria as "Leisingebi". The following examples illustrate the name development after 1204 (see below): John de Laysingby (1361), and William Laysynby (1421). Among the early recordings in Yorkshire is the christening of one Ellen Lazenby on April 6th 1646, at St. Michael le Belfrey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Leisingeby, which was dated 1204, in the "Placenames of Yorkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.