“The family of the Hanoverian historian of Kent, Edward Hasted ...was one branch of an extensive local connexion originally of small yeomen and husbandmen in Kent who must have derived from a common ancestor.By the 16th century the family name had come to be spelt in a bewildering variety of ways - Hasted, Haisted, Heighsted, Heghsted, Heysted, Haysted, Hoysted, Hysted, Highsted, and Histed - but these varied forms related to the same dynasty and indeed sometimes occurred together in the same will.Although the early relationships of the family cannot be established with certainty, and the historian's own ancestry cannot definitely be traced beyond his great grandfather, Moses Hasted of Canterbury (fl. 1650), the early distribution of the surname in a group of eight or nine parishes between Faversham, Sittingbourne, Hollingbourne, and Lenham suggests that it originated at a farm-settlement in this area called Highsted.The fact that Highsted appears in early medieval records in such forms as Heystede and Heghsted, as well as Highsted, further supports this view.There is strong presumptive evidence, in fact, that all those bearing the surname of Highsted or Hasted and its many variant forms derived from a single common ancestor of the name who held Highsted at the end of the 12th century.In this case the family has remained throughout its history almost entirely confined to a single county.There are now 24 branches of it represented in the current telephone directories for the Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells areas, which between them cover Kent and East Sussex, whilst beyond this area the name is still very rarely met with.
I have mentioned the case of the Hasted family not because they were exceptional but because they were typical of hundreds of other families of medieval origin in Kent...”
Source: Everitt, Alan (1975). Foreword, in McKinley, Richard, Norfolk and Suffolk surnames in the middle ages. London: Phillimore.