T The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of his interesting and rare surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is locational from a now "lost" place thought to mean "place of the oak tree(s)", from the Old English pre 7th Century "ac", oak and "steall", place. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since circa 1100, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, or to the widespread, practice of "clearing" large areas of land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool trade in the 14th and 15th Centuries. The modern surname can be found as Extal(l), Extil(l) and Exrol(l). Among the sample recordings in London are the christenings of Jane, daughters in London are the christenings of Jane, daughter of James and Elizabeth Extall, on May 16th 1764 at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, and of James, son of James and Elizabeth Extall, on May 18th 1766 at St. Bartholomew the Great. which was dated Bridgett Extill (marriage to Roger Eeles), February 16th 1600, Ridge, Hertfordshire, 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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