This interesting and unusual name is of French origin and is a nickname surname for someone with some fancied resemblance to the dog of this name, a small hound used for hare hunting, with a distinctive bark, a loud baying sound. The derivation is from the Old French 'beegueule', from 'beer', open wide, and 'gueule', throat. The name Beagle, probably in various forms, was introduced into England by the Normans, after the Conquest of 1066. This name is recorded in Sussex (Joane Begles, 1617) and in Kent (Mary Beagle, 1663), both coastal counties, with the English Channel between them and France, a further suggestion of the French connection. Among the recordings in London is the christening of one Margarett Beagles on May 8th 1642 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, and the marriage of Sarah Beagles and George Skelton on June 21st 1835 at Old Church, St. Pancras. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jeanne Begel (christening), which was dated March 4th 1620, Badonviller, Merthe-et, Moselle, France, during the reign of King Louis X111 of France, 1610-1643. 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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