This unusual and interesting Anglo-Scottish surname, is recorded in a wide variety of spellings. These include Halliday, Halleday, Hallday, Holyday, Hollyday, the dialectal Harriday and the most popular of all, Holliday or Holiday. However spelt the surname is of pre 7th century origins and probably pagan! It is or was, a seasonal surname originally given to someone born on a "holy day", a religious festival. The derivation is from the Olde English 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. In Scotland the surname is first recorded there in 1303, when one Adam de Halide was a juror on an inquest at St. Andrews, whilst the Halliday's of Hoddom, Dumfriesshire gave their name to Halliday Hill. Other recordings include Thomas Holidaie in Suffolk in 1524, the marriage of James Halliday and Marion Henderson in Edinburgh, on October 1st 1607, and Grissell Holliday in Corrysholme in 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Reginald Halidei, which was dated 1179 in the "Seals rolls" of the county of Bedford. This was during the reign of King Henry 11 of England, known as "The Church Builder", 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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