This name is of English locational origin from Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Feslei, in the Catalogue of Ancient Deeds circa 1175 as Haliflex and as Halifax in the Episcopal Registers of 1268. It is so called from the old English pre 7th Century "halig" holy and "fleax" flax; hence "Holy flax (field)". The loss of the second l is due to dissimilation. The surname from this source first appears on record in the latter half of the 14th Century and today it is found as Hallifax and Halifax. On August 16th 1578, Richardus Hallifax was christened in Ledsham, Yorkshire on August 24th 1580. Alicia Halifax, daughter of Roberti Halifax was christened there also. An interesting namebearer was Sir Thomas Hallifax, (1721 - 1789), Lord Mayor of London 1776 - 1777, he was also knighted and was sheriff of London when Wilkes was elected for Middlesex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johnannes Halyfax, "Labourer", which was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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