This unusual surname has two possible origins both medieval English. The first is as a sharpened form of Eddie and occasionally found as 'Eteson' recorded on April 23rd 1889, in the Liverpool Mercury when one of that name was drowned. The second and most likely is as a nickname form of the female Henrietta, a name particularly popular in early Tudor times c. 1400-1500. Examples of the name development include, William Etty who married Mary Baucom at St. Katherines by the Tower, on 27th July 1697, whilst Martha Eatey (as spelt) married Joshway Hanford on 29th October 1668, at Mottram in Longdendale, Cheshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Ettys. which was dated 1557 Married Richard Andylbe at St. Stephens, London. during the reign of Queen Mary 'Bloody Mary' 1554-1558. 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.