Recorded as Hawney, Honey, Hony, Honeyman, Oney, Uney and possibly others, this is an English surname of several possible origins. It may be locational either from Hawne, a village in the county of Worcestershire, an occupational name for a gatherer or seller of honey, or a nickname for a sweetheart or darling, a sense which was popular in medieval England. The village name of Hawne is from the Olde English word 'halin' meaning 'Little farm' or similar, whilst if occupational or a nickname it is from the pre 7th century word 'hunig' meaning honey.The surname is first recorded in the 13th century with Alice Hony who was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1273, and Geoffrey Hony in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Worcestershire in 1275. Robert le Hony was listed in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1296, and John Honney was christened at St. Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London, on August 10th 1572. Later examples are those of Grace Hawny who married Edward Scutt at St James church, Dukes Place, Westminster, on November 5th 1691, and David Hawney who married Harriett Prince at St Mark's Kennington, on January 1st 1828. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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