This interesting and unusual surname derives from two possible origins. The more likely origin is that it is a dialectal variant of "Bissell", a metonymic occupational name for a corn merchant or one who measured corn from the Medieval English "buyscel", or "busshell", a bushel, measure of corn from the Old French "boissel". The name may also have denoted a maker of vessels designed to hold and measure out a bushel. Secondly the name may be of English locational origin from "Bessell Leigh" in Berkshire from the Old English personal name "Bessell", plus the second element "leigh", from "Leah", wood or clearing in a wood. The manor of Bessels Leigh was held by one Petrus Besyles in 1412. Alan Buscel was recorded in 1140, Yorkshire Charters and one Richard Bussell was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire in 1200. Johana Byssell married Christopher Richcroft at St. Matthew, Friday Street London on August 20th 1583, while a John Bissell was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London on May 24th 1590. Hannah Maria Bessell married John Iverson at West Munster, London on October 13th 1862. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Buissel, which was dated 1086, Domesday Book of Somerset of 1086, during the reign of King William 1, "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087). 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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