This unusual and interesting surname is of Celtic origin, and is locational from places so called in Somerset and Dorset, derived from the pre-English river name "Cale", of uncertain etymology; the placename is sometimes found recorded with the prefix "win-", which is from the Welsh "gwyn", meaning white. The placenames were first recorded as "Cawel" and "Wincawel" in the 956 Saxon Charters; Cawel and Wincawel seem to have denoted different arms of the River Cale. The surname could also be derived from the river name, and this is possible as the name is very well recorded in Devon; this county also is where the earliest recording can be found (see below). The modern surname can be found recorded as Cale, Calle, Call, Caule, Kale and Cawle, and recordings from English Church Registers include the marriages of Richard Cale and Anne Swyne on August 26th 1583, at Barnstaple, Devon, and of John Cale and Anne Fussell on October 2nd 1732, at Hinton, Charterhouse, Somerset. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Call, which was dated November 2nd 1539, marriage to Anne Reed, at Barnstaple, Devon, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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