This interesting name is medieval and job descriptive for somebody skilled in ironwork, one who produced the steel and leather belts associated with armour. William Shakespeare in Henry VI refers to the noble Knight Talbot 'who is now girdled with a waste of iron and hem'd about with grim destruction'! It is also possible that the name may refer to a medieval tree surgeon or forester, one who 'girdled' a tree to either kill it or to make it more fruitful. The name development includes Luke le Gerdeler in London (1277) and Henry Le Girdler (1295, The Norfolk Pipe Rolls). The origination is from the Olde Englsih 'Gyrdel' in the pre 7th Century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Gurdeler, which was dated 1279, The Hundred Rolls of Oxford, during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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