Recorded as Dagnall, Dicknall, Dignall, Dignell, Diginhall and probably others, this is an English surname. It is habitational and has two possible origins. It derives either from the pre 7th century word "dic" meaning a dyke or moat, plus "halh", a meeting place or council chamber, or from the personal name Richard through the nickname "Dick" to a variant "Digg", in which case it is means "Digg-at- the- hall". In either case the place of origin is "lost", although the style of the name would suggest an English Midlands or East Anglian origin.However no recordings appear in those counties and the "link" spelling would seem to be from Hampshire where 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 church registers that we have positively identified is that of Catherine Dignell. This was dated July 7th 1794, when she married John Gibbs at the famous of St. Mary le Bone, city of London, 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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