Recorded as Solway, Salway, Selway, Salloway, Solloway and others, this is an English surname although one with Norse-Viking pre 7th Century origins. It describes a person who lived at a road or way that lead past a sael or large house. Similar surnames are Greenway, Holloway and Bithaway, and all describe some local feature or a hamlet of cottages, which were grouped around a road. The name appears to have originated in the West Country, as do most of these "way" surnames, and if there was an actual village called "Sael-weg" or similar, this seems to be no longer the case.The Solway Firth, between Scotland and England, refers to the water as a road, which indeed it was, the sael in question being possibly Carlisle Castle. Solway First does not seem to have been the birthplace of any nameholders. All early recordings are from the county of Somerset, and include John Seleway, in the Curia Regis rolls of Somerset in the year 1350. Recordings of the surname include Hercules Hale who married Mary Soloway at St James Clerkenwell, in 1669, whilst in 1752 William Solway married Mary Mackey at St Georges Chapel, Mayfair, Westminster. A coat of arms associated with the surname has the blazon of a red field charged with a gold engrailed saltire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Saleway. This was dated 1273, in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset. during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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