This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor or unrecorded place, perhaps a "lost" village. There are an estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from Britain since the 12th Century; the prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool-trade in the 15th Century, and natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished. The original place is believed to be in the Worcestershire area because of the number of early recordings found there, and the derivation of the placename is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hund", dog, and "eg", island, or a piece of firm land in a fen; hence, "island frequented by dogs". In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Hunday, Hundey and Hundy. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Thomas, son of Richard Hundy, on March 13th 1581, at Defford, Worcestershire; the marriage of Joane Hunday and Edward Walter on January 24th 1584, at Bishopstone by Swindon, Wiltshire; and the marriage of Joan Hundey and Thomas Bennett on February 10th 1587, at Urchfont, Wiltshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joyse Hundye, which was dated January 26th 1573, marriage to Richard Pengrye, at the Church of Brendon, Worcestershire, 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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