This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived by Gosa's hill, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Gosa", plus "cnoll", hill. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Gosnall, Gosnoll, Gosenell, Goosnell, Gasnell, and Gasnoll.London Church Records list the christening of William Gosnoll on December 17th 1587 at St. James', Clerkenwell, and the marriage of William Gosnell to Mary Meade on December 27th 1670 at St. Mildred's, Bread Street. William Gosnell married Ann Wane on August 28th 1687 at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone Road. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is per pale crenellee gold and blue, two gold fleur-de-lis. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mathewe Gosenall, which was dated May 1st 1562, witnessed the christening of his son Antony, at St. Andrew's, Undershaft, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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