This interesting and curious surname has two possible derivations. Firstly, it may be a rare variant of "Harty", which is the Anglisized form of the Old Gaelic "O hAthartaigh", composed of the Gaelic prefix "O", male descendant of, and the personal name "Faghartach", meaning a noisy person. Harty itself is a Munster name found principally in counties Tipperary and Cork. However, in some instances, Arthy may be a pet form of Arthur, which derives from the Celtic personal name "Arthur", of obscure etymology, thought to be from the Old Welsh "arth", bear. The popularity of this personal name was due to the legendary exploits of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is found as "Artor" and "Artur". Art(h)y and Artie are pet forms and are relatively late formations. Early examples of the surname include: the christening of Anne Artheay on April 24th 1687 at Burgh-le-Marsh, Lincolnshire, and the marriage of Sarah Arthy and Robert Oxnit at Askham Bryan, Yorkshire on May 14th 1702. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tamsin Aurthie which was dated September 9th 1620, marriage to Mathew Grigg at North Tamerton, Cornwall, during the reign of King James 1 of England and 6 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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