Recorded in many forms including Angel, Angell, (English), Angell, Angeau (France), De Angelis, Di Angelo, D' Angelo, De Angelo, Agnolo (Italy), Angel (Spain), Angelo (Portugese), and many others, this is a surname which is ultimately of Greek origins. It derives from the word "angelus" meaning a messenger and later in Christian times had the additional meaning of one of angelic appearance. It is an example of the many surnames created during the Middle Ages which were essentially nicknames or names of endearment. It could also have been occupational and a "pageant" name given to an actor who had played the part of an angel in a mystery play. The name has been widely recorded thoughout the continent of Europe, but it was generally in England that the earliest recordings were made, and more importantly have survived. These include Richardus Angellus christened on August 28th 1539 at St. Stephen's Coleman Street, London, and Richard Angell who married Janna Foster on September 16th 1565 at St. Martin-in- the-Fields, Westminster. In Italy recordings include Maria Lucia Angeli at Fontana, Trento, on November 2nd 1595, and Franchesco D'Angelo at Pennadomo, Chieti, on June 16th 1811. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Warinus Angelus. This was dated 1193, in the Kent Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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