This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is an English locational surname from the village called "Entwisle" in Lancashire. The placename is recorded in 1212 as "Hennetwise" and means "the river fork frequented by water-hens or by ducks", derived from either the Old English pre 7th Century "henna", (water) hen, or "ened", duck with "tuisla", a tongue of land in the fork of a river. The placename Birtwistle, also in Lancashire is a similar formation where the first element is "bridd", bird nestling. The modern surname has four variants, Entwistle, Entwisle, Entwhistle and Entissle. John Entwistle was married to Jennet Sheapperd on the 22nd July 1625 at St. Johns, Preston, Lancashire. The Engwistle Coat of Arms found in Burkes Armory is of particular interest, being a silver shield with a black bent thereon three silver mullets "knights spurs". Granted at the Battle of Agincourt to Sir Bertin Engwistle with the motto: Par ce signe a Azincourt - By this sign at Agincourt. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elias de Ennetwysel, witness, which was dated 1276, in the "Assize Rolls of Lancashire", 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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