Recorded in several spelling forms including Caspel, Caspell, and more rarely Caspall, this is an unusual and interesting surname. We believe that it is English, but if so we have been unable to establish recordings before 1825. Curiously there were two recordings in that year, the first being John Eaton Caspel, the son of Susannah Caspel, the father's name is not recorded, who was christened on April 3rd at St Paul's church, Deptford, in the county of Kent, whilst on June 1st 1825, Edward Caspell, the son of one Edward Caspell, was christened at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, in the city of London. Surnames commencing with the spelling of 'Casp' are very rare, and those few that exist seem to be related to the popular Germanic surname of pre 7th century Persian origins Kaspar, Caspar, Kasper or Casper. In medieval times it was a popular personal name, which developed into a surname, but which originally described a 'treasurer', one responsible for the coffers of a state or city. We thought that Caspel(l) may be a diminutive form of Casper, and of possible French Huguenot origins, but if so we have not been able to trace any such spelling in French or German registers. Given the evidence, it is our conclusion that the surname creation may owe much to a simple clerical error probably around the Napoleonic Wars (1795 - 1815). At this time less than 10% of the population could even write their name, whilst local dialects were very thick. This lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings of many surnames, and as such may be a transposition of the surname Capel or Capell.
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