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Most of the following chapters have been reconstructed from material (except for wills and parish registers) which has already been printed, and is therefore second hand.

Much of it was first collected (not always accurately) in Nichol's monumental .

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The "by" ending, which occurs in many local village names, betrays its Danish origins.

This means that we know for certain that the place has been continuously settled for at least one thousand years.

Sheep produce fat profits, but they are not labour-intensive, and Brooksby, like many another in Leicestershire, became a "deserted village".

For many years it consisted of the hall, one farmhouse, and the church like a private chapel standing in the hall grounds, not a hundred yards from the front door.

This is the place which gave its name to the family variously written as Brokesby, Bruxby, Brokesbie, Brocksby, Broxbye, Brochesbye, or almost anything except the now familiar "Brooksby".

(This last however is the spelling used throughout this book, except where there is a particular reason against it.) It is a fascinating piece of detective work to pursue the "how" and "why" of a surname, as well as the "who" and "where" of its holders, and throughout this chapter the reader will be presented with a great deal of guesswork and more or less intelligent interpretations of insufficient facts.The first might be typified by the first reference above: a person moved from one place to another and, in the place where he settled, he was called by his place of origin to distinguish him from others of the same name.(Children sometimes distinguish their grandparents thus: "Brooksby Granny" and "Leicester Granny").It should not be taken for granted that these are all the available facts, nor that the interpretations are correct.There is still plenty of scope for family researchers to go on burrowing and peering into the mists of time, and come up with treasure.The pedigrees printed in the Visitations of Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire have proved invaluable, but have to be taken with a pinch of skepticism.