This interesting surname, with variant spellings Heatly, Heatlie and Haitlie, is of English locational origin from any of the various places named with the Old English pre 7th Century "hoeth", heath plus the Old English "leah", a wood or clearing. These places include Heatley, a hamlet north west of Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, and Heatley in the Lymm urban district of Cheshire, recorded as Hethileg in the 1286, "City Court Rolls of Chester". The surname was first recorded in Scotland in the early part of the 13th Century where the name is still widespread. One, Robert de Hetlye possessed lands in Faunes and Melockstan in 1270, and in 1296, Alexander de Hateleye rendered homage at Elgyn en Morreve. Johanna Hethele and Robertus de Hetlegh, noted in the 1379, "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", were the earliest recorded bearers of the name in England. The surname is now chiefly found in Scotland, Northumberland and Northern Ireland. A coat of arms granted to the Heatley family depicts three erased black boars' heads on a green bend - all on a gold shield. The boar represents Bravery, perseverance and Fertility. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Robert de Hatteley, which was dated circa 1230, in the "Records of the Abbey of Kelso, Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 11 of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. 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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