This most unusual and interesting name is ultimately of medieval Flemish origin, probably introduced into England during the 14th and 15th Centuries by the skilled Flemish craftsmen and weavers who were invited to settle in Britain by Edward 11 and Edward 111. The original form of the surname was (De) Dressel(er), and it was an occupational name for a turner, a skilled worker who made small objects not just from wood, but also from bone, ivory and amber, all of which were widely used in the Middle Ages for their decorative value. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The development of the surname in England included the following forms: Droosell (1630, Devon); Dresoull (1631, Kent); and Drissill (1631, London). In London, the marriage of Guilielmus Drissell and Maria Jyllians was recorded at St. Martin in the Fields on November 3rd 1629, and in Belgium, Joannes Dresselaer was christened on December 30th 1698, in Antwerp. The name is also found in Germany; Henery, son of Conrad Drissell, was christened on April 13th 1869, in Mannheim, Baden. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Drisill, which was dated December 7th 1606, witness at the christening of his daughter, Rachel, at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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