This English, German, Danish and Norwegian surname HORNYAK was originally derived from the Old English word HORN, and was used as a name in a variety of senses. It was an occupational name for someone who made small articles such as combs, spoons, and window lights out of horn. Horn was a commonly used material in the Middle Ages when glass was for most people prohibitively expensive and plastics, of course, had not yet been invented. It was also an occupational name for someone who played the musical instrument, which was made from the actual horn of an animal. This was used not only in recreation and entertainment, but also as a signal. It was a topographic name for someone who lived by a horn-shaped spur of a hill or tongue of land in a bend of a river, or a habitation name from any of the places named with this word. Occasionally the name was used as a nickname of uncertain application, perhaps referring to some feature of a person's character, or else used to refer to a cuckolded husband. The name was adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, referring to the ram's horn (Hebrew SHOFAR) which is blown in the Synagogue during various ceremonies. The name has spread throughout Europe and into the United States in many forms, which include HORNE, HORNE, HORNOR, ATHORNE, HORNIKER, Van den HOORN, HORNLEIN and ORENSTEIN, to name but a few. Early records of the name in England and Scotland mention HORNE (without surname) who was documented in the year 1185 in County Yorkshire. Adam Horne documented in Middlesex in 1273. Johannes Horne of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William atte Horne of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). William Horne of London and Jane Alisunder (widow) were married in London in 1588. The name was taken to Scotland by early settlers, and John Horn was 'evil treated and beaten' on the border in 1279. David Horne is mentioned in a charter relating to the land of Cupar in 1456. John Horne was the burgess of Aberdeen in 1487. William Horn was the attorney for Robert, Archbishop of Glasgow in 1503. James Horne was the bailie of Haddington in 1567.
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