It has been suggested to us that this very unusual surname found in the recordings of Apdell, Epdell, and Apedaile, is of Welsh origins. This is nearly correct, although possibly for the wrong reasons! It appears to be Welsh because of the prefix 'ap' meaning 'son of', however this is not the case here. The name in fact is locational, and from Shropshire, the English county which is very much on the Welsh border. The origin is from the area known as 'Apedale', between Wenlock and Craven Arms, with 'Apedale' itself probably being a shortened form of the Olde English pre 7th century 'appeldael', the valley (dael) of the apple trees.This type of locational surname was generally given to nameholders after they left their original homes, and eventually took residence elsewhere. Certainly the local recordings of the name are rare to the point of extinction, all early recordings being found in London. This is not unusual, people in the 17th century were often dispossessed and London represented their only hope of survival. The early recordings showing the surname development include Thomas Aptell who married Elizabeth Coley at St Matthews church, Friday Street, London, on October 7th 1630, and Cuthbert Apdell, also recorded as Epdell, a witness at St Ann's Blackfriars, London, on February 22nd 1707. In the 18th century the surname appears to have undergone further change to the 'modern' form, an example being George Apedaile, whose daughter Esther was christened at St Dunstans in the East, London, on January 23rd 1822. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Frances Aptell, which was dated September 9th 1612, a witness at St Margarets Westminster, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1587 - 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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