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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: topographic name for someone who lived on an island or patch of firm ground surrounded by fens, from a misdivision of the Middle English phrase atter ye ‘at the island’ (from Old English ēg, īeg ‘island’).
  2. English: topographic name for someone who lived near a river or stream, from a misdivision of the Middle English phrase atter eye ‘at the river’ (from Old English ēa ‘river’).
  3. English: topographic name for someone living at a place where rye (Old English ryge) was grown, or perhaps a metonymic occupational name for someone who grew or sold it.
  4. Norwegian: habitational name from a farmstead so named, most of them from Old Norse rjóðr ‘clearing in a forest’, but others from ry ‘dry place with stones’.
  5. Danish: habitational name from a place called Rye.
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