In its many different forms, this is a true European surname. The various spellings include Heath, Heathman and Heather (English), Heide, Heyde, Haid, Heider, Haidner and Heydemann (German), Heyd Van Heyd, Van Hee, Verheyden, and Verheijden (Flemish and Dutch) , Hede, Hedman, and Hedin (Scandanavian), and ornamentals such as Hedenberg (Swedish), this is a residential surname. It describes someone who lived at, on, or by, a moor or heath, although it can equally be locational from any of the numerous places called Heath or Hede or Heyd, found throughout Northern Europe. In all cases the derivation is from the Olde German and Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century words 'haed' meaning heath or heather, the characteristic plant of heathland areas. Over the many centuries since its creation in the medieval period the surname has been recorded throughout Europe. These early recordings in England include Laurence atte Hethe of Sussex in 1296; Peter del Heth of Yorkshire in 1296; and Alan Othehethe of Staffordshire in 1332, in Germany Henricus Haiden of Eblingen in 1281, and Johannes von Heyde of Leipsig in 1293, whilst in the early surviving church registers of the Netherlands, we have the recording of Adfen Verheijden of Oldenzaal, Overijessel, on March 1st 1610.
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