This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an English locational surname from either of the places called Haswell in County Durham and in Somerset, near Goathurst. The place in Durham is first recorded as "Hessewella" in 1131, and the place in Somerset was first recorded as "Hasewelle" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The places share the same derivation and meaning, which is "the stream where hazel (trees) grow", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "haesel", Hazel tree, with "well(a)", stream or spring. Locational surnames were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Nicholas Haswell married "Johan" (Joan) Weymouthe in Brixham, Devonshire, in September 1582, and in London, on September 9th 1660, one Henry Haswell married Martha Man, at the Church of St. Christopher le Stocks. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen de Hassewell, which was dated 1272, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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