This rare and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either of two places thus called. Eastwell in Kent is recorded as "Estwelle" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Eastwelle" in the 1267 "Inquisitiones post mortem", and Eastwell in Leicestershire is recorded as "Esteuuella" in the Domesday Book and as "Estwell" in the 1166 Pipe Rolls. Both placenames share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "east", east, with "well(a)", well, spring or stream; hence "Eastern spring or stream". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname was first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Agnes, daughter of Willmi Eastwell, on October 18th 1551, at Chislet, Kent; the christening of Robert, son of William Eastwell, on April 13th 1657, at St. Nicholas, Leicestershire; the marriage of Alice Eastwell and George Hayes on September 29th 1657, at Swavesey, Cambridgeshire; and the marriage of Caleb Eastwell and Martha Sanders, on October 8th 1710, at Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Estvelde, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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