This rare surname is a dialectal variant of Eccles which is of English and Scottish locational origin from any of several places so called, for example, Eccles in Lancashire, Norfolk and Kent, also in Berwickshire and Dumfriesshire. Eccles in Kent, recorded as 'Aiglessa' in the Domesday Book of 1086, derives its name from the Old English pre 7th Century "aec-laes" meaning "oak pasture". All the others are named with the British element "ecles" meaning a church, ultimately from the Greek "ekklesia", a gathering or assembly. The surname is first recorded in Scotland in the latter half of the 12th Century, (see below). In 1212 one, Warin de Eccles appears in "The Pipe Rolls of Kent", in 1603, Humphrey Eccles of Dean appears in "The Wills Records at Chester", and in Samlesbury, Lancashire on March 2nd 1686, one Lawrence Ekkles was christened. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de (of) Eccles, witnessed Charter in Melrose, which was dated circa 1170, "Catalogue of Ancient Scottish Seals", during the reign of King William "The Lion of Scotland" 1165 - 1214. 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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