Recorded in many forms including Call, Cail, Caile, Cale, Kale, Calle, Cayle, Cawle, Caller, Callear, Callier and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is has two quite separate origins arising from the word "cale". The first "cale" is French, and was probably introduced into the British Isles after the famous Norman Conquest of 1066. It means a cap, and hence was occupational for a maker of headgear. The second is English and locational and derives from the River Cale (meaning cold), which rises in Somerset and Dorset . The river name is sometimes recorded with the prefix "win-", from the Olde English and later Welsh word "gwyn", meaning white. As Cawel and Wincawel they appear in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 956 a.d. and probably denoted different arms of the River Cale. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given as easy identification to somebody who had left their former home to move somewhere else. Early examples of recordings taken from authentic church registers of the period include the marriages of Richard Cale and Anne Swyne on August 26th 1583, at Barnstaple, Devon, and Abell Calle, the son of John Calle, christened at St Giles Cripplegate, city of London, on February 4th 1589. The first recorded spelling may be that of Walter Calyer in the county of Kent in 1275, or perhaps Henry le Callere in London in 1281.
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