This name is locational and derives from the villages of Long Crichel and More Crichel in Dorset. The name is particularly interesting in that it is made up of two elements "cruc" and "hyl" - which both mean "hill". The first part is ancient British i.e. pre-Roman, whilst the second is Olde English i.e. post Roman and pre 8th century. The original recorded spelling in the 1086 Domesday Book was 'Circel' and later in 1212 'Mor Kerchel' whilst in 1219, 'Longcherchel' makes its first appearance. Locational surnames derived either from ownership of the local manor or more usually, as people moved to other areas in the Middle Ages, they took (or were given) as their identification, the name of their former 'home' village. In this case the intrusive 't' producing what is now the usual surname spelling, was added in the late Medieval period in order, it would seem, to aid pronunciation, either that or it was simply poor spelling! Examples of the recording of the surname include William Chrichell, the son of Thomas, christened at Micheldever, Hampshire, on August 23rd 1615, and John Chritchell, who married Margaret Reasin at the church of St Bartholomew's The Less, London, on May 14th 1649, during the 'reign' of the Commonwealth and Oliver Cromwell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Critchell, which was dated May 1st 1598, married Alice Warren at Abbotsbury Church, Dorset. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess' 1558 - 1603. 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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