This is a locational surname which derives from one of the following villages, all of whom are spelt slightly differently, although the meaning is the same.The resultant surnames have become completely intertwined, making definitive origins almost impossible. Ecclesall in Yorkshire, Eccleshall in Staffordshire, Eccleshill in Lancashire or possibly as well a lost village believed to have been in Cheshire. The name translates as "The church (ecles) on the halh (flat land)" or possibly the church on the hill in the case of the Lancashire name, from the pre 6th century Olde English. "Ecles" is in fact an Ancient British term which predates the Roman Invasion of 55 a.d. and relates to the earliest pagan era of recorded history. The early recordings include the following examples, Robert de Eccleshale (Yorkshire) in 1251, and his son also Robert in 1297. This may be the same person who is recorded as Sir Robert de Eccleshall in the heraldic roll of Edward 11 in 1307. He bore at the Battle of Boroughbridge a Coat of Arms whose blazon was red, a bend between six martlets, all silver. These arms indicate a soldier, one who possessed little land and lived by his own efforts. Early recordings of the surname also appear in both Warwickshire and Lancashire, whilst the later forms include Joane Ecclesole in the register of St James Church, Clerkenwell, London, on December 14th 1601, and John Eckersall who married Catherine Walker on December 1st 1774 at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Eccleshull, which was dated 1246, The pipe rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry 111, 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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