This most unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places called Hough in Cheshire and Derbyshire, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hoh" meaning spur of a hill. Hough in Cheshire is recorded as "Hoh" (1176) in the Chartulary of the Abbey of St. Werburgh, Chester, and Hough in Derbyshire as "Hoge" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Hogh" in the Feet of Fines of 1285. During the Middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield, the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification. The surname dates back to the early 12th Century (see below), and early recordings include Eustace de Hou (1190) in the Pipe Rolls of Essex, and Benedict de Ho (1211) in the Curia Regis Rolls of Leicestershire. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Hough, Houghe, Ough, and Owgh. Church Records list the christening of Agnes, daughter of Ambrose Owgh, on May 11th 1623, and of his son William, on June 19th 1625, both at St. Andrew's, Plymouth, Devonshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is silver, a black bend. The Crest is a black wolf's head erased. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Ho, which was dated 1121, in the "Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds", Essex, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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