This interesting name is of Irish origin and is the Anglicization of the Gaelic "O' hEochaidh", which is a developed form of the Old German pre 8th Century "Hugo", meaning heart, mind or spirit. Other surnames developed from "O' hEochaidh" include: (Mac)Keogh, Kehoe, O' Hoey, Haughey, Haugh, Hough and Hoy. Hoy is sometimes considered to be a variant of Haughey, and it is very common in Ulster. The first recording of the surname in Ireland is of one Elizabeth, daughter of Leuise and Martha Hoy, on February 8th 1646 at Holy Trinity (Christchurch), Cork. An interesting name bearer was one Thomas Hoy (1659 - 1718), who was a physician and author and was made a fellow of St. John's College, Oxford, in 1675. He published essay's on Ovid's "De Arte Amandi" and Musaeus's "Hero and Leander" in 1682, and on the poem "Agathodes" in 1683. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edward Hoye, which was dated February 10th 1563, St. Dionis, Backchurch, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "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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