This interesting and unusual name has two possible sources, the first being that 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", the Old Norse "Vegr", track. However, this English name could also be locational, from some minor place named with this word for example, "Waye" in Devon and Dorset however the derivation is the same as before. During the Middle Ages when it became increasingly common for people to migrate from their birth place to seek work further a-field, the custom developed that they would adopt their placename of origin as a means of identification. Church recordings include one Jane Wey who was christened on August 10th 1562 at St. Margaret's, Westminster and Richard Weye married Joane Bridges on January 14th 1564 at St. Mary Magdalene's, Bermondsey. One William Wey (1407 - 1476) was a traveller and author. He received an M.A. and B.D. in Oxford, fellow of Exeter College, Oxford (1430 - 1442), fellow of Eton College (circa 1442). He wrote sermons and itineraries of his pilgrimages to Compostella 91456) and Palestine (1457 -1458 and 1462) all of which were published in 1857. 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 Richard 1, "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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