This unusual and interesting surname recorded in the spellings of Dule, Duel, Duell, and no doubt others as well, is of Breton or Gaelic origins. The surname is a dialectal variant of Joel and Jewell, themselves shortened forms of the ancient Gaelic personal baptismal name "Iudhael". This name, composed of the elements "iud" - meaning "lord" and "hael", - generous, (Generous Lord) was borne by the 7th Century Saint Iudhael, who was also King of Brittany. Finding that kingship interfered with his religious beliefs he abdicated, and spent the latter part of this life in a monastery. Early examples of the name recording, and there are many, include Judhel de Tournais in the 1086 Domesday Book, Joel de Helsam, in the Danelaw Rolls of Lincoln in 1160, and Alan Joel of Northumberland in 1256. William Juwel is recorded in Bedford in 1356, Roger Juylle in Cornwall in 1383, and John Jewell in Yorkshire in 1462. Other recordings are those of Jane Dule of Newlyn, Cornwall on Christmas Day, 1588, John Duell, who married Thamsin Palke at Dartington, Devon, on December 19th 1671, and John Duel of Tywardreath, Cornwall, on June 20th 1681. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Juel, which was dated 1247, in the Assize Rolls of Bedford, during the reign of King Henry III, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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