This is an English surname, but just possibly of French origins. Recorded in several spellings including Callaby, Callady, Calaby and possibly Calabre and Calabry, it may be locational and originate either from a now "lost" medieval village of which there are over three thousand examples, or as a transposed spelling from an existing village such as Callaley in the county of Northumberland. However it may also originate from Calabria, a region in South West Italy. If this latter surmise is correct, it would seem to have been carried by French Huguenot refugees who fled to London during the 17th and 18th centuries to avoid persecution on the continent as protestants.Curiously the name derived from Calabria was not so much locational, as a traditional nickname for people with guile and cunning and therefore a nickname! This would seem to be the case with Marene Calabry, who married Feasther Condre at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on April 24th 1700. The earliest probable recording in any spelling form is that of Robarte Colabre, at St Margarets church, Westminster on October 7th 1576, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st (1558 - 1603), whilst also at St Dunstans we have the recording three centuries later of Emily Callaby, who married Henry Butler on February 7th 1864.
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