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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The Hayter history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Hayter history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Hayter family originally lived in Devon. Their name, however, is derived from the Old English word heah, which means hill or raised land.


The surname Hayter was first found in Devon, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Hayter, Haiter, Haytor, Hater and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hayter research. Another 249 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1260, 1296, 1540, 1687, 1706 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Hayter History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Hayter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Hayter:

Hayter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • George Hayter, who arrived in America in 1654-1679
  • George Hayter, who sailed to Barbados between 1654 and 1663

Hayter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Philip Hayter, who arrived in New York, NY in 1826

Hayter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Hayter had settled in Tilton, Newfoundland by 1771
  • Mr. William Hayter U.E., "Hayton" (b. 1729) who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1817

Hayter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Hayter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Sarah Ann Hayter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • John Hayter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Mitchell" in 1840
  • William Hayter, aged 19, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1849
  • William Hayter, aged 19, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Prince Regent"

Hayter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Hannah Hayter, aged 24, a servant, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842


  • Mr. Arthur Hayter (d. 1912), aged 44, English Bedroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Sir George Hayter, notable English portrait painter
  • Sir William Goodenough Hayter, British diplomatist, author and college principal
  • Stanley William Hayter (1901-1988), British painter, engraver, writer and founder of Atelier 17 in Paris, but he is probably best remembered for his innovations in printmaking
  • Commander Hubert M Hayter (1901-1942), eponym of the USS Hayter (DE-212/APD-80), a Buckley-class destroyer escort


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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Hayter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hayter Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 April 2016 at 17:32.

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