This intriguing surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name from residence on a high ridge or land. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "heah", high, (Middle English "hay, hey") with "hoh", spur of a hill, projecting ridge of land. This element became "hough, how", and "hoe", in Middle English. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages.Occasionally, the surname may be locational from any of the minor places in England named with the above elements, particularly in the northern and eastern counties. 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. The modern surname can be found as: Hayhoe, Hayhow, Heyhoe, Heyo, Heigho and Higho. In 1524, one John Hihoo was noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, and on December 27th 1622, Elinor, daughter of William Hayhoe, was christened in East Walton, Norfolk. The birth of Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Pleasant Hayhoe, was recorded in Staines, Middlesex, on February 27th 1659. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Heyhowe, which was dated 1524, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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