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About the study
The Filby Association An organisation of people the world over with the surname of FILBY or its variants, FILBEY, FILBEE, PHILBY or PHILBEY devoted to furthering the study of the name derived from the village of FILBY, Norfolk, England - the genealogy of the various families with this name and the support of the Parish Church at Filby.
There are no annual dues or assessments but anyone desiring to help the Association through donations should contact the Treasurer. Family data will be welcome as research is encouraged on a hobby basis.
The Association is fully constituted and is a not-for-profit charitable organization.
Honorary Officers of the Association
Mary E Filby - President
James (Jim) Filby - Manager/Treasurer/FFHS Rep
Alan Filby - Deputy Manager
Marion Filby - Secretary/Researcher/Editor/GOONS Rep
Mark Filby - Webmaster
Alan Starky - Tree Manager
Robert (Kirk) Filbey - USA/Canada Correspondent
Dr Donald (Don) Barry - Australasian Correspondent
Jessica Filbey - Facebook Manager
Christine Williams - Researcher
John D Filby Phd - Researcher
Jean-Jacques Filby - Researcher
Sue Reynolds - Researcher
If one accepts the Doomsday Book, the village of FILBY was spelled FILEBEY or PHILEBY but the first county map in England? that of Norfolk County? spells it as FILBYE and it is properly located. The name is of Danish extraction and with the invasion of Norsemen around 800 AD it may have been the site of a wintering place for the invaders.
Until the 20th Century most of the population were illiterate and in all cases of recording birth, marriage and death the writing of the name fell upon the Scribe or Cleric of the day, and even they only interpreted what they thought they heard. It was often found that many of the same family had different spellings for their surnames, they may even have thought it desirable to use 'Philby' or 'Fileby' to distinguish themselves from a brother who preferred 'Filby'. Or simply a local accent or speech impediment.
For instance; Two close cousins Robert Hayward Filby and Mary Anne Filby eloped to London and Married on March 1, 1849. This was such a disgrace in those days that they were forced to add an E to Robert's surname. From that date onwards their eleven children and all their descendant's surnames was recorded as Filbey.
The Surname Filby
It is to be remembered that a name such as 'John de Filby' means John of Filby or John from Filby, and it is the SECOND of these alternatives which is the real meaning i.e. someone living in a place other than the village of FILBY but who has come from there. This probably explains why the name Filby is found all over England and the world, except in the village of Filby itself, as few return having spread their wings.
Earliest Parish Records of Filby's
FILBIES MANOR was some 30 miles south/west of the present village of FILBY, near the small town of Diss, and this is probably the reason why the earliest Filby record of baptism and marriage to be found in Norfolk were at the nearby Parish of Dickleburgh, it reads:
'On October 22nd 1544 a Nicholas ffylbye took unto himself Elizabeth Gobbert as a bride and sired four sons Nicholas on May 1st 1546; William on February 2nd 1548; Thomas on August 21st 1550 and Stephen on November 18th 1552.' Such may have been the beginnings of many Filby's.
N.B. the small "ff" was the way in which the capital "F" was written in those days.
Historical occurrences of the name
Filby Coat of Arms
The Blazon of Arms of the ancient family 'de FILBY' was found in records at the Norwich Library and is taken from the book 'The Norfolk Armoury' by Benjamin Mackerell, (ref, Vol.2 page 81).
The Filby Association received authority for its use from the Norfolk and Norwich Record Office, and a copy of the blazon was prepared and posted in All Saints Church at the village of Filby during the familyâs 1971 gathering., a copy of which is shown above.
Short Association History
1961 Ellsworth Lincoln Filby of Kansas USA started his research.
1962 Mary Filby of Kings Lynn, Norfolk started to assist him in his Research, and is now our President
1964/6 Ellsworth visited England to gather information from church records in Norfolk & Suffolk.
1968 The Association was formed by Ellsworth and the homecoming held on 22nd November held in Filby village, attended by 250 people. The Association founded "Saga" a newsletter sent out yearly to members, this is now known as the "Filby Association Chronicle"
1971 The first Reunion on 4th July. These Reunions are now held every 3 years at Filby Church & afterwards at Filby village hall with smaller gatherings each year at Filby Church.
1978 Frederick N Filby helped to establish the "Guild Of One Name Studies" (GOONS) and the "East of London Family History Society". He was also the first President of the "Guild Of One Name Studies"
1982 Frederick N Filby and P William Filby honoured with Fellowships by the Society of Genealogists for their respective genealogical activities, in the course of which both were introduced to the Queen.
1993 The 8th Reunion - The 25th Aniversary 4th July. A flower festival was held at Filby.
2001 The 11th Reunion 1st July - Among the many who attended were Ellsworth L Filby'3 3 Grandchildren, and the Mayor of Great Yarmouth.
2004 The 12th Reunion 4th July - Among those who attended were some as far away as New Zealand.
2008 40th Aniversary Reunion 6th July - Mary Filby was at the church door to welcome our extended family and guests from all over the world. We held our first AGM at 11am on the morning of our reunion which was well attended. This yearly meeting will continue.
The only records we have of the number of Filby's all spellings living in England & Wales at any one time come from the '1851 census 656' the '1881 census 1,048' the '1891 census 1,191' and the '1901 census 1,296'
We do not have figures for the rest of the World but we have members in the following countries - USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France and the Philipines
Distribution of the name
Filby Association Records
In our Records we have a total of 131 trees of which some are joined into 72 FTM (Family Tree Maker) files, which contain over 6,400 names.
We also hold records from a number of sources. These are held on the Custodian 3 Database, this database now contains over 19,000 entries plus we hold a large number of Birth, Marriage, & Death certificates, plus other documents.
These records are not freely available, but if you are researching your Filby family line we could help you to add data to your research and your family tree, and in turn you could add further to our research data.