An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Heys is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Heys family lived in Herefordshire. This name, however, does not refer to that municipality, but is topographical in nature and indicates that the original bearer lived near an enclosure of some sort. It derives from the Old English word haye, which means enclosure. 
The surname Heys was first found in Herefordshire where Bartholomew de la Hase held a fief in 1165. He claimed descent from Hayes near Blois, Normandy.  For this early origin, the name was listed in a few locations, specifically, Norfolk, where some of the first records of the name were Edorard de lis Heys and John del Heys who were listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls listed Nicholaa de la Hay in Lincolnshire.  William de Hayes was listed in Northamptonshire in the 13th century as a follower of John Giffard (1232-1299), the English nobleman, but had his house plundered after the Battle of Evesham in 1265.
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Hayes, Hayse, Hays and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heys research. Another 179 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1637, 1694, 1663, 1672, 1641, 1712, 1686, 1703, 1768 and 1831 are included under the topic Early Heys History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Heys family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Heys or a variant listed above:
Heys Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Heys Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Heys Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Heys 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 22 September 2015 at 08:22.