Recorded as Dagnall, Dicknall, Dignall, Dignell, Diginhall, Dognell and probably others, this is an English surname.which has proved difficult to research. It is apparently locational and if so derives from a place somewhere. The meaning would seem to from the pre 7th century "Dic-halh" meaning a meeting place by a dike, or from the personal name Digg, an early short form of Richard, to mean "Digg's place". In either event the place itself is seemingly one of the five thousand or so "lost" medieval villages of the British Isles. However the style of the surname would suggest an English Midlands or East Anglian origin. In that respect a Thomas Dognell as spelt, does appear in the register of St James Lincoln, on July 22nd 1753, but his appears to be the only recording from those counties. The "link" spelling to another surname, if indeed it is, would seem to be from Hampshire. Here Elizabeth Dicknall is recorded in 1807 at Portsea, whilst coincidentally a Jane Diginhall married one James Buck at Portsmouth in the same year of 1807. The first recorded spelling of the family name in the church registers of the city of London, the largest repository of surnames in the world, gives a first recording of Catherine Dignell. This was dated July 7th 1794, when she married John Gibbs at the famous church of St. Mary le Bone, during the reign of King George 111rd, 1760 - 1820. 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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