Hi Katie, Thanks so much for replying.
There are lots of Beilby's / Bielby's throughout East Riding...Sledmere, Cowlam, Driffield, Hull, Swanland, North/South Cove, etc. There's the town of Beilby or Bielby, depending on which end of the town you drive in by :) (Seriously, the sign post at one end is different to the other - I have photos, as others do!). It's not far from Pocklington. They did however, originate from Micklethwaite in the West; I think. And this is probably where the mystery starts as the family property didn't go to the eldest heir. So the story goes.
There is a "missing" Beilby according to the records back in the 1600's or so where the right to the family coat of arms seemed to skip the logical path - and the family property went to a daughter (I think) vs the eldest son, a William. There's been speculation that perhaps the rightful/eldest Beilby either went missing on purpose, or was perhaps executed via involvement with the Jacobite movement? My money is now starting to be on the former...that he went awol due to religion. Long story - but super interesting. What got me thinking this is that after looking at some of the Sykes of Sledmere records, I'm starting to match up this religious situation in Yorkshire and wonder if the "independent" movement in the area around 1700/1800 is where the Beilby/Bielby family started to divide - and why the family started to move ridings - and those who left the CofE went as Bielby's and those who stayed Beilby, stayed with the CofE?? There are two religions in Sledmere and surrounds. CofE and Methodist. And there are relics of the Normans which have been kept within and renovated in the churches that the Sykes family have wonderfully renovated and maintained. Why would they do that if only the CofE was in play? There just seems to be a really interesting situation where the family was originally Beilby (according to the viking and very early Dugdale records) and then some went to the USA and were key in founding the Methodist movement there...the Bielby's). And my ancestors which came here were adamant they are Beilby's and were CofE. Though, the formal records I can find show my ancestors having both Bielby and Beilby spelling! Such a conundrum!!! What got me on to this is that I am totally stuck on my Robert Beilby/Bielby who was born 1816. And I've started to dig into the Independent records etc as I can't seem to find anything in the CofE records. You can see this is really challenging my thinking :)
I think there has been a one name study done but I can't find anything on it.
Hence reaching out to this community to find out what others are thinking, might find out, or know!!