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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Heys family come from? What is the English Heys family crest and coat of arms? When did the Heys family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Heys family history?

Heys is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Heys family lived in Sussex. 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.

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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.

First found in Herefordshire where Bartholomew de la Hase held a fief in 1165. He claimed descent from Hayes near Blois, Normandy. [1] 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. [2] 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.


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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.

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Another 133 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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.

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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


  • Fredk Heys, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753
  • Johan Heys, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1786
  • Danl Heys, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1786

Heys Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • David Heys, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila

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  • John Edward Heys (b. 1948), American filmmaker and actor
  • Stephen Heys (b. 1879), English professional footballer from Accrington
  • Howard M. Heys, Canadian cryptographer and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland


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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

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 8 January 2015 at 12:49.

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