This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a number of places called Healey, for example Healy in Lancashire, recorded as "Helei" in the 1215 Pipe Rolls of that county, in Northumberland, recorded as "Heley" in the 1235 Newminster Cartulary, and in the West Riding of Yorkshire recorded as "Helay" in the Yorkshire Deeds. The component elements of the placename are the Olde English pre 7th Century "heah" meaning high with "leah" a wood or clearing; hence "high wood or clearing". Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere. In Ireland the surname is found as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O' Ealaighte", composed of the elements "O" meaning descendant of with the personal byname "Ealathach" meaning ingenious; hence "descendant of the ingenious one". In the modern idiom, the surname has four spelling variations: Healey, Heely, Healy and Hely. On January 13th 1649, Sarah, daughter of Walter Heeley, was christened at the Church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is red with a silver chevron between three gold lions rampant, the Crest being a dexter hand brandishing a scymitar all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Helegh, which was dated 1280, in "The Cheshire County Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 1st, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272-1307. 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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