This ancient surname of HEGYI is a name based on lunar months, it is said, dating to the year 622 AD, and rendered in ancient documents in the Latin form 'anno hegirae', the date of Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina. The name is also spelt HEGI and HAGYI. It was also a Hungarian topographic name for someone who lived on or near a mountain. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. The Hungarian language is quite distinct from its Germanic and Slavonic neighbours, and is of Finno-Ugric rather than European origin, and so it is related to Finnish. However, the strongest cultural influence in historical times has been German, and the pattern of Hungarian surnames is similar to that found in Germany and Austria. In the 19th century, surnames ending in 'Y' came to be considered more aristocratic than those ending in 'I', although it has been shown that the alternation between these two letters depended on the whim of a clerk, and had no connection with rank. Hungarian heraldry shows a marked preference for charges or devices associated with the Turkish wars which were a feature of Hungarian history from the 15th to the 18th centuries. A great number of all Hungarian armorial bearings feature a decapitated Turk's head, moustached and turbanned. Sabres, swords and lances are brandished and lions, gryphons or horsemen are all depicted in a fiery and war-like manner. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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