Hay Family History
Hay Name Meaning
Scottish and English: topographic name for someone who lived by an enclosure, Middle English hay(e), heye (Old English (ge)hæg, which after the Norman Conquest became confused with the related Old French term haye ‘hedge’, of Germanic origin). Alternatively, it may be a habitational name from any of various places named with this word, including Les Hays and La Haye in Normandy. The Old French and Middle English word was used in particular to denote an enclosed forest. Compare Haywood. This name was taken to Ireland (County Wexford) by the Normans. Scottish and English: nickname for a tall man, from Middle English hay, hey ‘tall’, ‘high’ (Old English heah). Scottish and English: from the medieval personal name Hay, which represented in part the Old English byname Heah ‘tall’, in part a short form of the various compound names with the first element heah ‘high’. French: topographic name from a masculine form of Old French haye ‘hedge’, or a habitational name from Les Hays, Jura, or Le Hay, Seine-Maritime. Spanish: topographic name from haya ‘beech tree’ (ultimately derived from Latin fagus). German: occupational name from Middle High German heie ‘guardian’, ‘custodian’ (see Hayer). Dutch and Frisian: variant of Haye 1.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press