This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from either Hazelgrove in Rishworth, or from "Hezzlegreave" in Saddleworth, both in West Yorkshire. The placenames are derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "hoesel", hazel, similar to the Old Norse "hesli", and "graf", grove, or "groefe", thicket, thus, the hazel grove or thicket. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace.However, the surname could also be topographical for someone who lived by a hazel grove or thicket. The modern surname can be found as Hazelgrove, Hazelgreave, Haselgrove, Hes(s)elgrave and Heaselgrave. Among the sample recordings in London is the christening of Thomas, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hazelgrove, on October 24th 1779 at St. Michael's, Bassishaw. The christening was recorded in Yorkshire of Mary, Daughter of Joseph and Ann Hazelgrove, on July 28th 1822 at Hemsworth near Wakefield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Hasilgref, which was dated 1297, in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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