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Nye Family HistoryThis unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a topographical surname acquired in the first instance by someone who lived by a river or on an island. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century phrase "aet thaem ea", at the river, or "aet thaem eg", at the island, which became, in Middle English, "atten (e)ye"; early recordings of the surname include one Robert Atteneye, in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset of 1269. Subsequent misdivision of the phrase produced the modern form of the surname, as in the recording of Gilbert de la Nye, in the 1315 Feet of Fines for Essex.
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