This interesting surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may be a patronymic of Hairye, a later development of Ayer, a nickname for a man who was widely known to be the heir to a title or fortune, from the Old French "eir, heir", Middle English "eir, eyr", ultimately from the Latin "heres", an heir; plus the patronymic suffix "-s", son of. However, in some instances the name may be a patronymic form of Hare, a nickname for someone who was a swift runner or a timorous person, from the Olde English pre 7th entury "hara", Middle English "hare", hare, plus the patronymic suffix "-s", as above. Finally, the surname may perhaps be of locational origin, from the city of Ayr, in south-west Scotland, so called from the Old Norse "eyrr", a tongue of land, gravelly bank; plus the suffix "-s", meaning "of that place". Early examples include: John le Hare, recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire (1197); Robert Aier, mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire (1201); Robertus Heres, who appears in the Curia Rolls of Cambridgeshire (1220); and Adam le Hayre, listed in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire (1275). Recordings from Yorkshire Church Registers include the christening of Johanna, daughter of Thomae Hayre, on March 31st 1566, at Allerton, Manlevever, and the marriage of Sarah Haires and William Wray on April 10th 1761, at Leeds. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter (le) Hare, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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