This interesting surname has two distinct possible origins. It's most likely source of origin is that it is from that group of surnames, which derive from English placenames, in this case, "Highway", in Wiltshire, recorded "Hiwei" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and composed of either the Old English element "heg, hieg", or the West Saxon word "hieg, hig", hay and the second element "way", road, hence "road for carrying hay". The name may also be of topographical origin from "residence by or on the high road", from the same elements as above. The name first appears in records in the late 13th Century, (see below). One Richard Highway was recorded in the Close Rolls Records in 1437. The London Church Registers earliest recording of the name is the christening of Thomas, son of Richard Hyway at All Hallows, London Wall, on February 17th 1580, and who had a daughter Ann, christened there also on February 16th 1584. The church Registers of Wiltshire first record the surname on September 10th 1732, when one Jane Highway married Edward Bridgman at Great Somerford. One Edmund Heighway was christened at St. Peter and St. Paul Marlborough, Wiltshire on July 21st, 1807. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Heyweye, which was dated 1292, Placita de Quo Warranto, during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.