Recorded in several spellings including Yearby, Yerby, Erby, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational from the villahe of Yearby in the county of North Yorkshire near toi the town of Guisborough. The origin is pre 7th century Danish Viking deriving from the words "effn byr" meaning the upper farm. As a village the first recording is in the year 1275 as Uverby and later in 1378 as Overby. The modern spelling is much later being 16th century. Locational names were usually given when a former inhabitant moved to another area, and this also accounted for the variant or differing spellings. In this case the name development includes Richard Yearby, who married Mary Ann Orton at St. Martins Birmingham, in 1759. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Yerbie. This was dated 1566 when she was christened at St. Lukes church, Chelsea, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth Ist. She was generally known as "Good Queen Bess" and reigned from 1558 to 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.