This picturesque name is of medieval English origin and has two possible sources, the first being that it is a topographical name for someone who lived by a hedge, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century 'hecg', a hedge. However, this name may also be locational from a place called Heage or High Edge in Derbyshire, and recorded first in the Charter Rolls of 1251 as 'Heyheg', in the Feudal Aids of 1330 as 'Heyhegge', as 'Heege' in 1471, and 'Heegge' in 1485, and deriving from the Old English 'hea-ecg', meaning high edge or ridge. The following examples illustrate the name development after 1227 (see below): Robert atte Hegge (1256), Richard de Hegges (1296) and Roger in the Hegg (1327). The modern surname can be found as Hedge, Hedger, Hedges, and Hedgeman. Among the early recordings in Derbyshire is the christening of one Wilinus Hedge on February 26th 1571 at All Saints. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailmer Hegge, which was dated 1227, in the Assize Rolls of Bedfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as '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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