This ancient English name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is in most cases a topographical name for someone who lived at a 'new enclosure'. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century elements 'neowe', new, with 'haga', fence, fenced enclosure, and sometimes 'enclosed dwelling in a town'. Topographical surnames were among the earliest to appear, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided obvious and useful distinguishing 'addresses'. In some cases, the modern surname may derive from a locational source, since there are recordings of some minor places named with these elements, particularly in the West Midlands. Both 'Newhay' and 'Newhey' occur as placenames in Cheshire. The marriage of William Newey and Grace Warner was recorded at St. Margaret Pattens, London, on May 6th 1565. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Newehawe, which was dated 1327, The Suffolk Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 111, '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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