This unusual name is of Norse origin, dating from the time of the settlement of northern and eastern counties of England by Scandinavian people, mostly during the 8th Century. The modern surname Haskell, which can also be found as Ashkettle, Askel, Axtell, and Astell, among other forms, drives from the Olde Norse personal name 'Asketill', which is composed of the elements 'oss' or 'ass', meaning 'god' and 'ketill', meaning a kettle or sacrificial cauldron, the latter being a common element in Olde Norse names. 'Arkle' or 'Arkell' derive from 'Arnkell', 'arn' being 'eagle', with 'ketill' as above. The name development has included Roger Hascull (1644, London) and Mary Hascall (1683, ibid.). John Haskell married Elizabeth Winpress on the 30th December 1697 at St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Askil, which was dated circa 1248, records of the Abbey of Bec, Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry II, The Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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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