This rare and interesting name is a dialectal variant, apparently confined only to Thrussington in Leicester, of the nickname surname Earl, which originally, like many English names derived from the ranks of nobility, and in the course of time was given to someone who played the part of an earl in a pageant or mystery play. It may also be an occupational name for a servant employed in a noble household and either possibility derives from the Old English pre 7th Century 'Eorl' a nobleman. In the modern idiom the usual variants are Earle, Herl(e), and Hurl(l). Amongst the few recordings of marriages in Leicestershire, are, Thomas Eyrl and Frances Wells on the 6th December 1779, and John Eyrl and Anne Marston on June 31st 1805, both at Thrussington, Leicestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lefuin Eoel, which was dated circa 1095, The Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King William II, 'Rufus', 1087 - 1100. 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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