This interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly, it is a topographical name for someone who lived near a road or path, and is derived from the old English pre 7th Century "weg", old Norse "begr" a way or track. This English name may also be locational from some minor place named with this word, e.g., "Waye" in Devon and Dorset. During the Middle Ages when it became increasingly common for people to migrate from their birth place to seek word further afield the custom developed that they would adopt their placename of origin as a means of identification. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below). One, William Waye, is noted in the "Liber Feodorum" of Dorset (1236) and John ate Wye, appears in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1279. In the modern idiom, the surname has many variant spellings including Way, Waigh, Weigh, Wey, Whay, etc.. On June 28th 1579, Blanche Waye married Jeames Fells, at St. Michael Cornhill, and the marriage of May Waye and Robert Baylie took place at St. John Hackney, London on September 22nd 1590. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Waie, which was dated 1194, The Pipe Rolls of Dorset, during the reign of King Robert 1st, "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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