Last name: Offell

Recorded in several similar or associated spellings including Loffill, Leoffel, Loffel, and Lowfill as well as Offill, Offel, and Offal, this is a surname of at least two possible origins and nationalities, which in England may have become "fused". The first is English and locational or topographical from either what seems to be a "lost" medieval village called "Low fell" or similar, or possibly from a place called "Over Hill", from the pre 7th century Olde English "ofer hyl". In either case the earliest recordings that we have been able to positively identify are in the diocese of Greater London. These are as an example that of William Lowfill recorded "in London" on July 20th 1615 and what may be the same person on June 7th 1629 when a William Lowfill married Susan Keene at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney. However as early as July 29th 1640 we have the recording of John Offall, at St Mary Whitechapel, in the borough of Stepney, and later on February 17th 1782, as Offill, when George Offill is so recorded. In general the surname spelling is as Loffill until we have the recording of Jacob Loffel, who married Elizabeth Bone at St Pauls, Covent Garden, city of London, on May 29th 1774. This may be a miss spelling of Lowfill, but is more likely Germanic or Huguenot from the name Loffel, first recorded in Stuttgart, in 1471. A Loffelmacher was a spoon maker. It would seem that by the end of the 18th century in England Lowfill and Loffel had became so intertwined that the spelling became generally Loffill, with an example being that of Elizabeth Weston Loffill, christened at St Mary Woolnoth, in the city of London, on June 5th 1805.

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