This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a "seasonal" surname originally given to someone born on a "holy day", a religious festival. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century word "haligdaeg", composed of the elements "halig", holy and "daeg", day. Other names conferred as "seasonal" surnames in a similar way were "Christmas", and "Pask" or "Pascall" for those born at Easter. The development of the surname includes Thomas Holidaie (1524, Suffolk), John Halladay (1666, Yorkshire) and Robert Holladay (1674, Suffolk). The modern surname can be found as Hal(l)iday, Hol(l)iday, Holyday, Holladay, Halladay, Halladey and Halleday. One Alice Holliday married Thomas Wallys in London in 1583. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Suein Halidai, which was dated 1188, in the Nottinghamshire Pipe Rolls, 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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