This rare and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Eagle in Lincolnshire. The placename was recorded as "Aclei" and "Aycle" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Eicla" in the Lincolnshire Register of Antiquities, (1141). The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ac", oak, with "leah" wood; hence "oak wood". 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 is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below) and can also be found as Eacle, Eggle, and Ekell. Recordings of the surname and its variants from Lincolnshire and London Church Registers include; Thomas Heckell who married Jon Paule on July 13th 1566 at New Sleaford, Lincolnshire; Christopher Eakle who married Joan Sheperd on May 5th 1590 at Bassingham, Lincolnshire; and Charritie Ekell who was christened on October 19th 1662 at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a black shield, with six silver lions, three, two and one, the Crest being a gold lion's gamb erect and erased grasping a red eagle's leg erased at the thigh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Egle, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", 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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