This interesting and long-established name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any one of the places called Capel in Kent and Suffolk, or from the place called Caple, in Hertfordshire. The places called Capel, one of which, Capel St. Andrew in Suffolk, is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Capeles", derive their name from the Middle English word "capes", the chapel. Caple How and Kings Caple in Hertfordshire are recorded as "Capel" in the Domesday Book, and are named from the Old Norman French "capele", chapel. The ultimate derivation is from the Latin "capella", originally a diminutive of "capa", hood, cloak, but later transferred to the sense "chapel, sanctuary" referring to the shrine at Tours where the cloak of St. Martin was preserved as a relic. 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. Occasionally, the surname, found as Capel(l), Capelle, Caple and Cappel(l), may be topographical in origin, denoting residence near or service at a chapel. The marriage of Edward Caple and Mary Harwood was recorded at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London, on October 28th 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jacob de Capel, which was dated 1193, in the "Pipe Rolls of Herefordshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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