This rare surname is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of the topographical name Hazel, which is a derivation of the Old English pre 7th Century 'haesel', the Old Norse 'hesli', dweller by the hazels. Topographical names are some of the earliest to be created because topographical features, for example, trees, moorland, buildings, whether natural or manmade, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. Amongst the sample recordings of this name in London are the marriage between Ellen Asale and George Brown on July 1st 1605 at Huntingdon, and the christening of one Elizabeth Ann Asals, the infant daughter of James and Ann Asals on October 14th 1798 at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alured del Hesel, which was dated circa 1182, Studies on Middle English Local Surnames, Worcestershire, during the reign of King Henry 11, 'The Builder of Churches', 1154-1189. 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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