This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name from residence in a house situated at the bend of a river, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century preposition "byge", bend, and "hus", house. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The phrase "bygehus" was gradually contracted to "bayhus" and "byus", forms which appear frequently in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire: entries include, John and Simon de Bayhus (Bedfordshire). In 1327, one Joce de Bayouse was noted in Medieval Records of Somerset. In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt Byas and Byass. On August 11th 1594, Janetam Byas and Matheus Cundall were married at All Saints' Pavement, York, and in 1699, John Byas was entered in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York. On April 19th 1715, the marriage of Elizabeth Byass to John Johnson took place at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with three azure wings bendwise, in chief two escutcheons of the last, each charged with a fleur-de-lis of the first. A silver wing, between two azure wings, charged with an escutcheon as in the arms forms the Crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Byus, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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