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CLAY Family History

This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be a topographical name for someone who lived in an area of clay soil, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "claeg", clay. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In some instances the surname may be an occupational name for someone who worked in a clay pit, or worked with clay, for examples someone who built with wattle and daub. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary...

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