This interesting name is possibily of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. 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 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original site is believed to have been in Devonshire. The placename itself is composed of the Olde English words "northr", north and "weg", track, road, hence "dweller north of the road". The surname may also be topographical from the same Olde English elements. At Bovey Tracey, Devon, Agnete Noraway married Willms Mogrudge on January 30th 1579, while at Dartington, Devon, Meary Norraway married William Parr on October 2nd 1579. At Alphington, Devon, John, son of John Narroway was christened on April 14th 1691. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Bynortheweye, which was dated 1333, in the "Placename of Devonshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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