This locational surname derives from the village of 'Halwell' in Devon. It seems to have undergone its metamorphosis during a move from its homeland through to Gloucestershire. Certainly Burkes General Armoury records that a coat of arms was granted to Gloucester nameholders in circa 1660, being the blazon of a silver field, charged with a black pile, and overall a chevron counterchanged. The village name is first recorded in Domesday Book (1086) as 'Halge-wille' which is Olde English for 'Holy spring', but perhaps refers more to a spring which never dries up. Examples of the surname recordings include Thomas Allwell at the church of St. Andrews by the Wardrobe, London, on November 1st 1627, and Honor Allwell of Bideford, Devon , on November 16th 1654, when she married one Henry Pain. A later recording is that of Joseph Allewell, whose daughter Lucy, was christened at St Dunstans Church, Stepney, on December 13th 1816. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Aleswell, which was dated August 10th 1610, who married at Sherborne, Gloucestershire, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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