Recorded as Aspal, Aspall, Aspel, Aspell, and Asple, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place in Suffolk called Aspall, and recorded as Aspala in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, commissoned by King William !st of England, and known to history as "The Conqueror". The place name and hence the later surname, derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word "aesp" meaning "aspen" as in the tree, plus "halh", a word which described a remote valley. Hence a valley of aspens. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century, (see below), and a quotation from "The History of Norfolk" by Blomefield and Parkin and dated 1385 reads "She gave her manors of Stonhall and Aspal, in Suffolk, which came by her mother daughter and co-heir of Sir John de Aspal". Other recordings include Thomas Aspal, given as being the rector of Francham Magna, in Norfolk in 1525, whilst an example taken from the surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London is that of Edward Aspell and Mary Saanaar. They were married at Christ Church, Spitalfields, on November 5th 1770. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Aspale, and dated 1323, in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 11nd of England, 1307 - 1327. 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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