Origins of the Treeby name
It was only in middle ages that surnames were first used to distinguish between people bearing the same personal or Christian name. Before then only the nobility had the use of hereditary surnames. However with the growth of towns, the stabilisation of societies and the greater use of documentation, in the later middle ages, such names became essential for all. A person whose distinguishing name described as his trade, his place of residence, his father first name, or some personal characteristic, passed that name onto his children, and the surname then became hereditary.
The Surname Treeby / Treby is local in origin, being one of the names described from the name of the place where the original bearer once lived. The name Treeby or Treby means, in old English, 'a dry curve or bend in the river'. Thus the first people to bear this name lived near such a place. It is also the name of a place in Devonshire, England, spelt Treeby / Treby, but pronounced Tree-bee. The name is mentioned in the Doomsday book where it is recorded:
'Lifton. Before 1066 it paid tax for three and a half virgates of land ... Two lands, Landinner and TreBeigh, belonged to this Manor before 1066. The Count of Mortain holds them.'