The Heter 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 Heter 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 Heter family originally lived in Devon
. Their name, however, is derived from the Old English word heah,
which means hill
Early Origins of the Heter family
The surname Heter was first found in Devon
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the Heter family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heter research.Another 249 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1260, 1296, 1540, 1687, 1706 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Heter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heter Spelling Variations
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.
Early Notables of the Heter family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Heter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Heter family to the New World and Oceana
In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Heter George Hayter, who sailed to Barbados between 1654 and 1663. In addition, John Hayter had settled in Tilton, Newfoundland by 1771; and John Haiter was recorded as a planter
in Trinity, Newfoundland in 1830..