Recorded in several forms including Apple, Appel, Appoell, Epple, Eppel and possibly others, this is a surname of the British Isles. It may have two possible origins. The first is English, but from the pre 7th century Scandanavian word 'apaldr', meaning apple, and hence an occupational name for a grower of fruit, and specifically apples. The second is Welsh, and if so a fused form of a name such as 'Ap Pella', meaning the son of Pella. The latter name is a rare early form whose meaning is uncertain. 'Ap-' is equivalent to the Gaelic Mac, and means 'son of'. Today it is almost always found as a fused form in surnames examples being Pritchard formerly Ap Richard, or Protheroe formerly Ap Roe. Occupational surnames were amongst the earliest to be created from about the 12th century, however they did not usually become hereditary unless a son followed a father into the same line of business. Surprisingly perhaps, many did not. Examples of the surname recording taken from early surviving church registers of the city of London include Alyce Appoell, the daughter of John Appoell, christened at St Michael Bassishaw on November 19th 1555, and Jemima Epple who married John Ashton at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 17th 1840.
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