Recorded as Gosswell, Goswell, Gossewell and the rare dialectals Gozvale, Giswell and Goswill, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place apparently called Goswell or Gosswell, although no such place is to be found in any of the known gazetters of the British Isles for the past three centuries. It is however well recorded in the surviving church registers of the city of London from at least the time of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603. This strongly suggests that Goswell was what is known as a "lost" medieval village, and it may already have disappeared before the 16th century. The place name is pre 7th century and means "Gods spring" or more likely in those pragmatic days, "good spring", from the ancient word gott meaning god or good. It is also possible that Goss was a personal name, but even so the meaning is the same. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say surnames given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. In this case the fact that the name is well recorded suggests that it may not have been too far from London, the city to where traditionally displaced people made their way. Early recordings include Thomas Goswell at Sunbury on Thames on April 21st 1577, and Alice Gossewell who married Thomas Coopes at St Botolophs Bishopgate, on December 7th 1601.
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