This interesting name is of English topographic origin for someone who lived by an enclosure (on upland pasture) where animals were kept in Summer. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "somer", plus "hoeg", an enclosure. The Medieval English word "hay(e)" from "heog" was used in particular to denote an enclosed forest. The surname is particularly well recorded in London Church Registers from the early 18th Century, (see below). On June 23rd 1710, Thomas, son of Jon and Diana Sumerhayes, was christened at St. Marys, Somerset, London and on July 12th 1716 Thomas Summerhayes married an Elizabeth Harris at St. Benet's, Pauls's Wharf, London. The final "s" on the name preserves the Old English genitive ending i.e., "of the Summerhaye". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Sumerhayes married Diana Timbrell, which was dated June 5th 1705 at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, during the reign of Queen Anne, 'The Last Stuart Monarch', 1702 - 1714. 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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