Recorded as Beccles and Beckles, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the small town of Beccles in the county of Suffolk, in East Anglia. The town is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Becles' and later in the rolls of 1158 as Beclis. One way or another over the following centuries it seems to have returned to its near Anglo-Saxon spelling. The surname is very early with Daniel de Beccles of Norwich appearing in the tax rolls known as the 'Feet of Fines' for the year 1256. This is a good example of a locational surname, in that it was a name given originally to a person who left Beccles and moved somewhere else. The easiest method of identification being to call such a person by the name of the place from whence they came. As spelling over the centuries has been at best erratic and local dialects very thick, names often developed alternative spellings. The derivation of the place name is from the pre 7th century words 'bec-laes', meaning the meadows by the river, the town being on the River Waveney.
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