This famous Old Scottish name, is of locational origin from the old barony of Balziel in Lanarkshire. The placename itself combines "Da(i)l", meaning tribal territory and "geal", meaning bright or white. The name is pronounced as "Diyell". Others call themselves Dal-yhell, Dal-zell and Dal-zeel. Early recordings of the name include Hugh de Dalyhel, sheriff of Lanark in 1288 and Thomas de Dalielle of the county of Lanark who rendered homage in 1296. Safe conducts were issued to Sir William Dalyelle and his son in 1415.The name of William Daliell, witness at Dirleton 1649 is also spelt "Duill". The Daylells of Binns in West Lothian are the oldest cadet family. Black quotes an old Galloway rhyme anent the Dalyells of Glenyae: "Deil an Da 'yell begins wi yae letter; Deil's no Gude and Da'yell's nae better". In the modern idiom the name can be found spelt as Dalyiel, Dalzell and Dalziel. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Baron of Daliel, which was dated 1259, in the "Calendar of documents relating to Scotland preserved in the Public Record Office", during the reign of King Alexander 111, known as "Ruler of Scotland", 1249 - 1286. 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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