This famous surname is of Anglo-Saxon and Olde English pre 7th century origins. It is residential, denoting someone who lived at, on, or by, a moor or heath, or it can equally well be a locational surname from any of the numerous places called Heath, in for example, the counties of Derbyshire, Bedfordshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Yorkshire. In all case the derivation is from the Olde English word "haeth", and the later Middle English "hethe", meaning heath or heather, the characteristic plant of heathland areas. The name development has included: Laurence atte Hethe of Sussex in 1296; Peter del Heth of Yorkshire in 1296; and Alan Othehethe of Staffordshire in 1332. One Isack Heath, his wife Elizabeth, and daughter, also named Elizabeth, were early emigrants to the New England colonies of America. They left the port of London on the ship "Hopewell" in September 1635. Notable namebearers include: Nicholas Heath (1501 - 1578). He was appointed Archbishop of York in 1555, and Lord Chancellor of England in the following year; whilst Robert Heath (1575 - 1649) was the Solicitor-general in 1621 and knighted in the same year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de la Heth. This was dated 1248, when he was a witness in the Court Records of the county of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272.
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