This very unusual name is of germanic origins but has apparently undergone some changes in the one hundred and thirty years or so, since its suggested introduction into England. The original spelling was almost certainly "Fangel" a patronymic or diminutive development of the medieval "Fang" meaning to trap. This would suggest that the name translates as "the son of the Trapper" or perhaps "Little trapper" probably a nickname and hence the rarity. The modern spelling of the name is not translatable, a clear indication of some transposition, either deliberately or through "anglicised" interpretation.At various times in the past hundred years, it was politically sensible to slightly alter the spelling of obviously Germanic names, in fact in the first world war it was almost essential, to avoid internment. It is understood that name holders were first recorded in the Manchester Area in about 1860, suggesting that the original name holders fled the german revolution of 1848. Interestingly a Hermannus Fangelder was recorded in Westminster as early as 1724, a possible originator as the name does not apparently appear again in that spelling. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Susanna Fangel, which was dated May 18th 1779, married Johann Rohbock, St. Seebergen, Sacks-Coburg-Gotha, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Joseph 11 of the Holy Roman Empire, 1765 - 1700. 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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