This unusual and interesting surname is derived from the personal name "Emanuel", which itself is biblical in origin, from the Hebrew given name "Imanuel", which means "God is with us". This was the name given to the promised Messiah by the Prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament, and was first used as a personal name by the Greeks in the form "Manuel". Surnames derived from given names, such as this, are the oldest and most pervasive surname type. In England the personal name "Emanuel" was introduced by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Invasion of 1066, and was still being used as a personal name in Cornwall up until the 16th Century. In Medieval Europe, the name was often given in honour of a 3rd Century martyr. Recordings from English Church Registers include: the marriage of John Emanuel and Hester Hanning at St. Olave's, Southwark, London, on July 28th 1775; the marriage of Moses Emanuel and Sarah Griffith at St. Paul's, Shadwell, Norfolk, on March 2nd 1779; and the marriage of Elizabeth Johanna Emanuel and William Evans on December 4th 1791, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Emanuell, which was dated March 27t 1597, christened at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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