This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name for a dweller by the promontory or hill surrounded by streams. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "heafod", a headland, promontory or hill, with "eg", a piece of land situated between streams. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below). Thomas del Heved is listed in the Hundred Rolls of Nottinghamshire (1275), and Roger Byheved (witness) is noted in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire (1285). The surname can also be found as Heady and Hedy. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include; Alhse Headey who married Daniell Elord on July 26th 1687 at St. James's, Dukes Place; James, son of Phillip and Anne Headey, who was christened on July 8th 1739 at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney; and James Headey who married Sarah Sock on June 29th 1740 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Heued, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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