This interesting and unusual name derives from three possible origins. Firstly it may be topographical, describing a dweller by an enclosure or common pasture, or it could indeed be locational from "Great and Little Tey", in Essex (recorded as "Tygan", circa 950 in Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, and "Teia" in the Domesday Book 1086), both of which derive from the Old English "teag", enclosure pasture. The name could also be occupational from the Old English "thegen", a thane, a noble retainer or attendant, or a tenant by military service. Finally, it could also be of Scottish locational origin from "Tain" in Easter Ross which was recorded in 1255, as "Thayne" and in 1483, as "Thane". The name is recorded first in England at the end of the 12th Century, (see below), where the names development includes Adam Thein (1221, Suffolk) and William le Theyn (1243, Somerset). In Scotland the first recording is in 1222, when Lorne Theine de Ures witnessed a charter by Randulf de Strathphethan. Edward, son of Edward and Ann Thay was christened on April 23rd 1775, at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey le Thein, which was dated 1199, The Northamptonshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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