Recorded as Erswell, and the very rare or possibly even extinct Erwell, Irwell and Urswall, this is an English surname. It well recorded in surviving church registers of the city of London, and is locational either from a now 'lost medieval village whose site is unknown, or from residence at the village of Eriswell in Suffolk, or possibly the River Irwell, in Lancashire. However spelt the place name and hence the later surnames probably translate as the 'winding stream' from the Olde English pre 7th century words 'erre' meaning angry, but in this case with the transferred meaning of straggling or winding, and 'waella', a stream or spring. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes, to move somewhere else London being the most popular destination, and thereafter were most easily identified by being called after their former homestead. Spelling being at best indifferent, and local dialects very thick, lead to the creation of 'sounds like' surname spellings. In this case early examples of the name recordings include Robert Erswell at the church of St Gregory by St Pauls, in the old city of London, on November 8th 1614, and later Henry Erswell, who was christened at St Lukes Finsbury, also in the city of London, on February 13th 1803.
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