Last name: Angel

This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English and French origin. It is an example of the many "nickname" surnames created during the Middle Ages; in this instance, the surname derives from the Middle English and Old French word "angel(e)", meaning angel or messenger, from the Latin "angelus", itself from the Greek "angelos", messenger. As a nickname this would have been bestowed on someone considered to have an angelic temperament or appearance, and it could also have been a "pageant" name, given to one who had played the part of an angel in a mystery play or pageant. The modern surname can be found as Angel, Aingel(l), and Angell, whilst examples of the surname recordings include the following examples. Robert Angell who was christened on August 28th 1539 at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, London, and Richardus Angell who married Janna Foster on September 16th 1565 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. Michael Angell appears on the Register of the University of Oxford in 1578, whilst on May 13th 1764, Michael Aingel and his wife Mary, were witnesses at the christening of their daughter Ann at St Leonards Church, Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Warinus Angelus, which was dated 1193, in the Kent Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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