This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is thought to be a variant of "Houxty", a locational name from a place so called in Northumberland, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hogg", a hog, and "stigu", sty, meaning "hog sty". However, the name may also derive from a place called Hauxley in Northumberland, recorded as "Hauekeslaw" in the 1204 Charters. This derivation is from the Olde English "hafoc", hawk, also found as a personal name "Hafoc", and "-leah", mound or wood clearing.There is also an inhabited island called Housay in the Shetland Islands. Early examples of the surname include the marriage of Thomas Haksley and Alice Mosse on March 13th 1661 at St. Nicholas's Church, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland; the marriage of Jean Hoxie and Thomas Kennedy on November 4th 1799 at Stewarton Ayr, in Scotland; and the christening of Harriett Hoxey, daughter of James and Rebecca Hoxey, on June 26th 1808 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Hawykley, which was dated November 15th 1562, marriage to Elizabeth, at Aldborough near York, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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