Derived from the Olde English pre 8th Century 'ecels', the name was originally found in Warwickshire. The meaning is one resident on a piece of land but specifically one added to an existing estate. The word is found in Echills Wood, Nechells and Neachill (Staffordshire), in Hitchells and Etchels (Yorkshire and Derbyshire). A development of the name is through the medieval 'atte' giving 'Attecheles' C, 1299 later foreshortened to Ettcheles or Ettles by dialectual transposition. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Atte Echeles. which was dated 1332 The Pipe Rolls of Stafford. during the reign of King Edward 111 The Father of the Navy 1327 - 1377. 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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