This interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval French origin, and is an occupational name for a flageolet player. The surname derives from the Old French "flag(e)ol, flajol", a flageolet, a small musical wind instrument, consisting of a hollow cylinder of pipe, having a mouthpiece at one end, and six holes along its length, stopped by the fingers, or by keys which are opened by the fingers. This is one of a select group of ccupational surnames developed from skilled employment of a musical instrument during the Middle Ages: other examples are Luther, Harper, Piper and Flut(t)er. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname can be found as Flagel, Flageol, Flaget, Flageolle, Flageul, Flageolet and Flajollet. Recordings of variants of the surname from various Church Registers include: the marriage of Francoise Flageol and Louis Ayott on January 23rd 1797, at Batiscan, Champlain, Quebec, Canada; the marriage of Gabriel Flagel and Marie Cougoul on January 12th 1811, at Puy-de-Dome, Olloix, France; and the marriage of Bonaventure Flageolle and Emilie Paillier on September 22nd 1840, at Yamachiche, St. Maurice, Quebec. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Pierre Flagel, which was dated 1783, witness at the christening of his son, Gabriel, at Puy-de-Dome, Olloix, France, during the reign of King Louis XV1 of France, 1774 - 1792. 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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