This is a dialectally transposed locational name from a place in Gloucestershire called Boxwell. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "box" meaning "box tree", plus "wella" a spring or stream; hence, "the spring by the box thicket". Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname(s) from this source were first recorded in the Oxford New College Register; the spellings included: Boxall, Boxald, Boxold and Boxwell, while in the modern idiom the surname can be found as Boxall, Boxhall and Boxell.In 1790, Daniel Boxhall married Sarah Cripps in St. George's Church, Hanover Square, London. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was Sir William Boxall (1800 - 1879), a portrait painter who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1823, and was director of the National Gallery (1865 - 1874). He was knighted in 1867. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Boxall, which was dated 1575, in the "Oxford University Register", during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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