This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible interpretation; firstly it may be a topographical surname from a conspicuous natural feature in the landscape, and secondly it may be locational from a place named for that feature. The purely topographical surname derives from the Old English pre 7th Century words "heah", meaning "high", (Middle English "hay" or "hey"), plus "hoh" (Middle English "how") meaning "a small hill or a man-made mound or barrow". The whole meaning is generally taken to be "dweller by the high ridge". The locational surname can derive from any of the minor places in England so named, particularly in the northern and eastern counties. The modern surname can be found as Hayhoe, Hayhow, Heyhoe, Heyo, Heigho and Higho. One Richard Hayhow was christened on December 9th 1739 at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Heyhowe, which was dated 1524, The Suffolk Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Henry V111, "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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