This most interesting and unusual surname is of Old French origin, and is probably derived from a nickname for a man who was well known to be the heir to a title or fortune, composed of the French definite article "le, la" plus the Old French "(h)eir", (Middle English "eir, eyr"), an "heir", from the Latin "heres". Variant spellings from this source include Eyer, Eyre, Hayer and Heyer. There is evidence to suggest that the name may have been introduced to England in its original form by French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in the late 16th and 17th Centuries, and since then has undergone developments to arrive at its present form. Early examples of the surname include: the christening of Jaques and Jehan, sons of Esaie, Isaie and Sara L'Huyer (French Huguenots), at Threadneedle Street, in London on October 25th 1612 and October 9th 1614 respectively; the christening of Philippe, son of Jacob and Anne le Haire, on May 14th 1615 at Badonviller, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France; and the marriage of Thomas Leahair and Georgiana Harriett Woolloton on February 15th 1853 at St. Andrew's, Enfield, London. A Coat of Arms depicting three black hooks on a silver field, was granted to a Lehayer family in Maine, France. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Colin le Herr, which was dated June 13th 1571, a christening witness at Badonviller, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, during the reign of King Charles 1X (House of Valois), King of France, 1560 - 1574. 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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