This interesting and most unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is believed to be derived from the medieval English personal names "Cul(a)" or "Ceola". The former may be from a Germanic root "kul", meaning swollen, while the latter is a diminutive form of various compound names with the first element "ceol", a ship. However, in some instances, the surname may be a variant of "Coll", which is either a diminutive of "Niclaus" (from the Greek "Nikolaos", from "nikan", to conquer, and "laos", people); or from the Olde English pre 7th Century "coll", a hill. The personal name "Col" is recorded in Lincolnshire in the Domesday Book of 1086, while early examples of the surname include Osbert Colle in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire (1196), and Robert Coule, recorded in Yorkshire in 1341. Joice Cule married Thomas Clancy at Eastington and Alkerton, Gloucestershire in 1578; while Alice, daughter of John and Hester Cuell, was christened on August 19th 1673, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London; and John Cuel was christened on June 28th 1715, at St. Mary's, Portsea in Hampshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Cholle, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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