Recorded as Hardway and Hardaway, this is an English surname. It is 'residential' from either the hamlet of Hardway, north of Gosport in Hampshire, or from Hardway, a hamlet east of Bruton in Somerset. The component elements of both placenames are either the Olde English pre 7th Century "heorde", meaning a flock, or "harde", meaning hard or firm, with "weg", meaning a way or road; and hence, "the hard road along which (sheep) flocks were driven". As such the place name probably referred to an ancient Roman road, since these were paved or 'hard'. It is interesting to note that the ancient British road, on the border of Somerset and Wiltshire, near Frome, was also called The Hardway, and in some instances the surname may be topographical from residence by this road. Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere, and topographical surnames were created from residence by both natural and man-made features in the landscape. Early examples of the surname recording include on August 3rd 1617, Susan Hardway and Thomas Blake were married at Appleford, Berkshire, and on September 28th 1618, the marriage of William Hardaway to Dyonis Lea was recorded at St. Mary Abbots, in Kensington, city of London. 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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