This interesting and unusual surname is of Gaelic origin, and is a Scottish locational name from a district called Argyll, in south-west Scotland. Argyllshire was a county until 1975; it is now part of the Strathclyde region. The placename derives from the Gaelic "oirthir Ghaidheal", coast of the Gaels, a Gael being a person who speaks a Gaelic language, especially a Highland Scot or an Irishman. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took the name of their place of birth as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname can also be found as Argyll, Argill, Hargill and Argol. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include; Nicolaus Argill, who was christened on July 6th 1583 at Howden, Yorkshire; Mary, daughter of James Argyle, who was christened on May 12th 1734, at St. Andrew's, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland; and John, son of John and Eleanor Argyle, who was christened on September 3rd 1758 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a blue shield with two gold croziers in saltire and in chief a gold mitre. In Heraldry, blue signifies Loyalty and Truth, and Gold denotes Generosity and Elevation of Mind. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Argall, which was dated January 15th 1542, marriage to Elyzabet Clarke at Christ Church, Greyfriars, Newgate, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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