Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is of English medieval origins. It is a nickname which derives from the ancient customary reply of one having received a drink which as "Drinc hail" meaning good-health or good-luck. The second element derives from the pre 7th century Olde Norse word "heill". The nickname as Drinc Hala is recorded in the Cartulary of Holy Trinity Abbey, Essex, and dated 1200. The surname appears in the latter half of the 13th century (see below), and in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire for 1301 we have John Drinkale, leading one to believe that the name bearer was a noted ale drinker! Another early recording is that of William Drynkell in the register of the Freemen of the City of York, and dated 1559. In the modern idiom the surname has several forms including Drinkale, Drinkhall, Drinkall, Drinkald, Drinkeld and Drinkell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Drinkhale. This was dated 1281, in the "Calendar of Letter Book", for the London City. during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots" 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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