Last name: Hammel
This interesting and unusual surname has two possible sources, the first being Scottish but also ultimately of Norman origin, and a locational name from the place called "Haineville" or "Henneville" in Manche. The placename derives from the Germanic personal name "hagano", which means "hawthorn", and was originally a nickname, found in medieval England as "Hain" and "Heyne", with the Old French word "ville", meaning ettlement, village. The surname may also be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an example of the sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hamel", mutilated, crooked, and the nickname would have been given to a scarred or maimed person. Gregory Hamel is noted in the Chartulary of Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire (1170). On May 16th 1695, the christening of John, son of William and Elizabeth Hamill, took place at St. Ethelburga, Bishopsgate, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a blue shield with two ermine bars, the Crest being a leopard sejant proper on a ducal coronet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aldan Hamal, which was dated 1055, in the "Old English Byname Register", during the reign of King Edward the Confessor, 1042 - 1066. 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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