This unusual and interesting name is topographical and descriptive meaning the holder of a hide, and therefore someone living on and farming a piece of land originally named as a "hide of land". The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "hi(gi)d". A hide was quite a substantial amount in those days, although it varied at different times and places between sixty and one hundred and twenty acres. It seems to have been originally fixed as the amount of land necessary to support one extended family as the Old English word for a household "higan" would seem to suggest a common etymology with "hi(gi)d", hide. The first recording of the spelling "Hydes" is from the "Catalogue of Ancient Deeds" for 1389 where one Hugh Hyder of Dorset appears. Judeth Hyder, daughter of Rychard Hyder was christened on January 15th 1604 at St. Michael, Bassishaw, London, while one John Hyder was christened on February 6th 1689 at St. Anne, Soho, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Hider, which was dated 1309, Middle English Surnames 1100 - 1300, during the reign of King Edward 11, Edward of Caernafon, 1307 - 1327. 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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