Transferred use of the surname, which is derived from a Breton personal name composed of haer ‘battle’ + vy ‘worthy’. It was introduced to Britain by Bretons who settled in East Anglia and elsewhere in the wake of the Norman Conquest.
English: derivative of Ayer. The -s most probably represents a trace of the Latin nominative singular in heres ‘heir’, but it may also signify the son or servant of someone known as ‘the heir’, i.e. someone who was heir to some great estate.