This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources, the first being a variant of Heath, which is a topographical name for someone who lived on a heath, derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "hethe", from the Old English "haeth". Heath could also be a locational name from any of the numerous places named with this word, in, for example, Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and West Yorkshire: the first recording (see below) is from this source of the name. The second source is locational from a place called Heather in Leicestershire, derived from the Middle English "hethe, as before: this word was also used to denote heather, the characteristic plant of heathland areas. The placename was first recorded as "Hadre" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Among the recordings in Leicestershire are the christenings of Henry, son of William Heather, on February 24th 1652 at Breedon on the Hill, and of William, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Heather, on April 11th 1773 at St. Margaret's, Leicester. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de la Heth, which was dated 1248, The Feet of Fines, Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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