This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places named with the Olde English pre 7th Century "halig", holy, and "well(a)", a well or spring. These places include: Halliwell in Lancashire, recorded as "Haliwell" circa 1200; Holwell in Dorset and Oxfordshire, entered respectively as "Halegewelle" and "Haliwell" in the Domesday Book of 1086; Halwell and Halwill in Devonshire, recorded as "Halgewilla" in 1086, and Holywell in Northumberland, Kent, Cambridgeshire and Cornwall.Locational surnames were originally given to the Lord of the Manor, and as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include Martin de Halgewelle (Devonshire, 1275), and Editha atte Holywelle (Somerset, 1327). On January 7th 1710, Ann Hallewell, an infant, was christened at St. Margaret Lothbury, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert de Haliwell, which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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