This very interesting surname is of pre 8th century Scandinavian origin. It is a later foreshortening of the personal compound name 'Thur-kettle' itself a derivative of the Olde Norse personal name Arnkell, composed of the elements 'arn' meaning 'eagle' and 'ketil' translating as 'a helmet' or 'a helmeted warrior'. The word 'ketil' is also taken to mean 'cauldron' but the translation 'helmet' is generally accepted. The surname (as Thurkill and variants) was originally recorded mainly on the East Coast of England where Scandinavian influence was strongest. In the modern idiom there are at least four spelling variations including Cheatle, Chattell, Chatell and Cattle, although the latter can also be a diminutive of 'Cat(t)'. Examples of the name recording include Abraham Cheatle, christened at St Mary Whitechapel, London, on February 4th 1721, and William Cheatle, who married Sarah Newman at St Mary's church, Portsea, Hampshire on June 12th 1815. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Frieday Chetel, which was dated 1087, who was recorded in the 'History of Norfolk', during the reign of King William 11, known as 'Rufus', 1087 - 1100. 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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