There are many traditions about the origin of the name, some based on stories from ancestors, others on the meaning of the name in one's country of origin. A College (Norwegian) professor (my German teacher) told me that the name, in Norwegian meant "The City (or state) Of Gold". That doesn't make the name Norwegian, of course.
Our ancestry comes to the United States (and also to Australia) from England. We have ship manifests and passenger lists as well as emmigration records showing England as the home. For a long time I assumed our ancestors were English.
Then I came into contact with Marguerite/Margarette Goolsby-Gaissert who had been doing family research much of her life. She compiled three volumes of material both sent to her and the fruit of her own research. Her research and conclusions about the family name are included below. I'm not at all certain we can be too definitive about the etymology of our name but the explanation given below is the most well researched and reasonable idea I've found. If you have a tradition about the Goldsby family name, please share it with me.
This information is supplied by Marguerite/Margarette Goolsby-Gaissert in her three volume set of research on the family (Goldsby, Goulsby, et.al.).
William I, Known as William the Conqueror. (1027?-1087) 1. King of England (1066-1087) and duke of Normandy (1035-1087), led the Norman invasion of England (1066) after being promised the English throne by his cousin Edward the Confessor. He defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings and as king adopted a feudal constitution.
Reference is made to Goulceby, under the name of "Golchesbi" in the Doomsday Survey relating to Lincolnshire. Mention is made of a church and a priest, and that the land was held hoke of service to Belchford. The land was the possession of Ive Taillebois, chief of the Angevin auxiliaries of William the Conqueror's Army, of whom much has already been said. Further mention deals with land held by Siward under Walter de Aincourt, now d'Eyncourt; this personage requires some notice at our hands. his name stands second on the roll of Battle Abbey, which is proof positive that he not only came over with Wm. the Conqueror from Normandy but fought by his side at Hastings, and served William so well that he was awarded many counties in Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. The largest portion of his lands being in Lincolnshire and he fixed his principal seat and head of his barony at Blankney. he was cousin (was) to Remigius, Bishop of Lincoln and the inscription on his son's tomb, found in Lincoln Cathedral, showed that he was connected by blood with the Royal Family. The last baron of the name died in the reign of King Henry the 6th and left two daughters his heirs, these being Margaret who married Ralph, Lord Cromwell of Tattershall and Alice, who married William, Lord Lovel. This barony and name are now extinct.
Goulceby became the possession later of the manor of Burwell which was a superior one. The Norman family of Delehay or De la Haye, were granted it and it was one of that family in the Thirteenth Century founded the Benedictine Priory at Burwell. The estate remained in the possession of Delahay family for a century and a half and the last of the family. John Philip de Kyme of the same continued for the end of his days to hold the lands under Philip rather pecularly -- by the service, as it is recorded, of one rose. Presumably this rose was to be plucked and presented annually to Philip on a certain specified date.
She continues in Volume III, Page 3069 (reads 6069).
"I have previously written about the beginning of our name Goldsby, Goldsby, Gouldsby, lby, Goolsby, bee, Gulsby, Golbe, variations of various places and by various people according to their ability to understand what they heard and to spell, in some cases to their having heard of the name before perhaps. I found in Lincoln Index to Consistory court records, Wills, etc., several spellings, towns, Golsby, Ingolsby, etc. to be found in old Lincoln before it was cut up into several parishes from 1300's to 1600's. The history sent me from Lincoln Castle repository of records, they can find no case of persons of this name ever living in the present town of Goulceby.
Ralph Golkesbi did not leave genealogy of his family so they could not furnish it to me. The history of this town includes the following spelling (Doomsday book), Golchesbi in 1086, Gochbi in 1212, Golkesby in 1243, Golsby in 1534 and now Goulceby. Ralph de Golkesbi was living in Linocln in 1212.
English history tells us that "by" on the end of a name denotes a Danish inheritance and the Danes once overran the British Isles, as did the Finnish people, the Angles, the Saxons and the Romans. Each left behind descendants of their names. In the Isles we find Ireland, Scotland in Upper British Isle with the British and Welsh in the Sourthwest portion. In the British sector we mind many other "ishs", Cornish, etc. The "by" on the name means village or homestead, denoting a secondary settlement controlled by an older and more powerful homstead (?). Most villages in England were under the control and management and mercy of some landed gentry, Knight, Lord, Baron, etc. until too recently.
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