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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

Similar surnames: May, Kay, Bay, Hey, Pay, Ray, Fay, Day, Gay, Say

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Where is the Hay family from?

You can see how Hay families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Hay family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Hay families were found in USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 773 Hay families living in Ontario. This was about 45% of all the recorded Hay's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Hay families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Hay surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Hay ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Hay. 36% of Hay men worked as a Farmer and 13% of Hay women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Hay were Clerk and Teacher. .

View Census Data for Hay | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1921

  • Farmer
  • Labourer
  • Laborer
  • Clerk

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Stenographer
  • Income
  • Student
  • Teacher
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What Hay family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 323,000 census records available for the last name Hay. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Hay census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

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Passenger Lists

There are 75,000 immigration records available for the last name Hay. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Cards

There are 41,000 military records available for the last name Hay. For the veterans among your Hay ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Hay lifespan?

Between 1947 and 2004, in the United States, Hay life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1947, and highest in 1999. The average life expectancy for Hay in 1947 was 39, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Hay

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