This name of Anglo-Saxon origin, is deceptively simple; in fact it is very rare, and its "link" spellings reveal all the mystery of nearly five hundred years of dialectal change. The original derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century habitational elements "hus", a house, plus "hop", a valley by a ridge; hence, "house in a valley by a ridge". The name would seem to be from the Lancashire area; however, if such a place as "Hus-hop" ever existed in the form of a village or hamlet, it is not recorded in the medieval village lists. The name "links" are from "Housenah" as shown below, through the 17th Century "Hasnep" to the later Hasney and Hesn(n)ey. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include the following examples: Marie Hasnep, who married John Ascoe at Ormskirk, Lancashire, on May 8th 1656; Sarah Hesnney, who married Charles Popkin at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Clerkenwell, London, on July 11th 1836; and Bridget Hasney, who married Michael Carton at St. Mary's, Bury, Lancashire, on August 13th 1850. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jane Housnah, which was dated June 1st 1561, marriage to Thomas Wilding, at Kirkham, Lancashire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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