This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a topographical name for one whose home was beside a main highway. The surname derives from the Middle English phrase "bi the weie", by the road. Topographical surnames were some of the earliest names to be created, as topographical features, whether natural or man-made, provided obvious and convenient means of identification in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname is first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below), and is found mainly in the West Midlands. Gervase Bythewy is noted in the Chartulary of the Monastery of Ramsey, Huntingdonshire (1244). The surname can also be found as Bythway, Byway and Bidaway. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Margaret Bytheway and William Bowman, which took place on May 1st 1651 at All Saints, Worcester, Worcestershire; the marriage of Francis Bytheway and Susan Bonick, which took place on August 21st 1679 at St. James', Duke's Place, London; and the christening of Sarah, daughter of Francis and Hannah Bytheway, which took place on July 2nd 1685 at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Bithewaye, which was dated 1243, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Byway — By way , n. A secluded, private, or obscure way; a path or road aside from the main one. Take no byways. Herbert. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • byway — ► NOUN ▪ a minor road or path …   English terms dictionary

  • byway — [bī′wā΄] n. 1. a road or path other than the main one, esp. one not used very much; side road; bypath 2. a subsidiary activity, line of study, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Byway — A byway is a less traveled side road, as in: *Byway (road), a minor secondary or tertiary road in the UK *National Scenic Byway, a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for its historical qualitiesSee Also *Rights of… …   Wikipedia

  • byway — UK [ˈbaɪˌweɪ] / US noun [countable] Word forms byway : singular byway plural byways 1) a quiet minor road that is not used by many cars or people the highways and byways of Ireland 2) byways [plural] the less important aspects of a subject a… …   English dictionary

  • byway — [[t]ba͟ɪweɪ[/t]] byways 1) N COUNT: usu pl A byway is a small road which is not used by many cars or people. ...the highways and byways of America. ...the narrow city byways. 2) N COUNT: usu pl, usu N of n The byways of a subject are the less… …   English dictionary

  • Byway (road) — See also the disambiguation page Byway A byway in the United Kingdom is a minor secondary or tertiary road. Legal positionByway Open to All Traffic Anchor|BOATIn the United Kingdom, a Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) is a highway over which the… …   Wikipedia

  • byway — noun Date: 14th century 1. a little traveled side road 2. a secondary or little known aspect or field < meandering more and more in the fascinating byways of learning Times Literary Supplement > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • byway — /buy way /, n. 1. a secluded, private, or obscure road. 2. a subsidiary or obscure field of research, endeavor, etc. [1300 50; ME bywey. See BY1 (adj.), WAY] * * * …   Universalium

  • byway — noun a) a road that is not frequently travelled b) an unpopular or arcane field of study …   Wiktionary

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