Hay Family History
Hay Name Meaning
Scottish and English (northern; of Norman origin): habitational name from any of several places in Normandy called La Haie or La Haye (Old French haie ‘hedge enclosure’ ‘forest for hunting deer and other animals’ a borrowing of the ancient Germanic word haga). Robert de Haia or de la Haye is known to have come from La Haye-du-Puits in Manche; he was the founder of Boxgrove Priory in Sussex (1123) and holder of the Honor of Halnaker (Sussex) and (by marriage) the barony of Kolswein (Lincolnshire). The Norman name was also taken to Ireland where it has since flourished in the county of Wexford as Hay and Hayes . Elsewhere in Ireland the name usually has a native Irish origin see below. English: topographic name from Middle English hay(e) heye heghe ‘enclosure’ (Old English (ge)hæg) or ‘forest fenced off for hunting’ (Old French haie); or else a habitational name from a place so called such as Hay (in Herefordshire and Westmorland) or Hey in Scammonden (Yorkshire). It was no doubt sometimes synonymous with Hayward . English: nickname for a tall man from Middle English heigh hey high ‘high tall’ (Old English hēah). English: from the Middle English personal name Hai(e) either an Anglo-Norman French or a native English name. Old French Hai is recorded in the Latin form Haius in 11th/12th-century Paris and is a pet form of ancient Germanic male names like Hagabert (Old French Haiebert) and Hagabern) which have an element hag- ‘right-handed useful’ as the first element. Alternatively these early surnames may be pet forms of a native Middle English male name like Heymund (Old English Hēahmund) or a female name like Hehild (Old English Hēahhild) which have hēah ‘high’ as the first element. In the late 13th and 14th centuries however it is possible that Hay was a variant of Haw which like Daw and Day was used as a rhyming pet form of Ralph. Compare Dawkins and Dakin and see Haycock . Irish: variant of Hayes . Spanish: topographic name from haya ‘beech tree’ (ultimately derived from Latin fagus).7: German: occupational name from Middle High German heie ‘guardian custodian’ (see Hayer ).8: Dutch: variant of Haye This surname is rare in the Netherlands.9: French: topographic name from the masculine form of Old French haye ‘hedge’ or a habitational name from Les Hays (Jura) or Le Hay (Seine-Maritime).10: Jewish (from the Middle East): from Hebrew ḥay ‘living’ either from a personal name based on this word or a Hebraicized form of some original Ashkenazic surname. Compare Chay and Hai .1 Muslim: from a personal name based on Arabic hayy ‘alive’ (see Hai ).1 Chinese: variant Romanization of the surname 夏 possibly based on its Teochew or Hokkien pronunciation see Xia .
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022