This interesting and unusual name is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have disappeared from maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original place is believed to have been in Devonshire. The component elements are the old English word "gyse", which probably describes a water dam (corresponding to the old High German "gusi", gushing water, and "sic", water course) plus the old English "wel", a deep place or whirlpool, hence a place where water was collected. Anne, daughter of Martin Goswell was christened at St. James, Garlickhittie, London on November 15th 1574 while at Ilsington, Devon, Margaret, daughter of John and Fridswid Guswill was christened on July 22nd 1647. Jane, daughter of Hugh Guswell was christened on January 30th 1704, at Buckfastleigh, Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Goswell, which was dated 1568, christening witness at St. James, Sunbury, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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