This interesting and unusual name is of Norman origin and was introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. As a French name it is locational from any of the various places named with the Olde French word "haye", meaning "hedge", of Germanic origin and ultimately equivalent to the Olde English pre 7th Century "(ge)haeg", meaning (hedged) enclosure. The places in Normandy generating the surname include "Les Hays" and "La haye", while Robert de Haia (1123), founder of Bexgrove Priory in Sussex, came from "Haye-du-Puits", La Manche. The Olde French word was usually used to denote an enclosed forest. The modern surname is found as "De La Haye", "de la Hay", "Delahaye" and "Delhay". In the late 16th Century, the name was reintroduced by French Huguenot refugees as in Jermyde la Haye, christened in London 1603. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ranulf de Lahaia, which was dated 1199, in the "Records of the Abbey of Colchester", Essex, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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