This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origins. It derives from the personal and baptismal name 'Huda', itself a form of the German "Odo" translating as "the wealthy one", a meaning which no doubt contributed to its early popularity! In its medieval form from the 12th Century onwards, the surname developed from 'Hudd' to add 'el', a short version of'little' to give 'little Hudd' or possibly 'son of Hudd'. The 'modern' surnames of Hudel, Huddle, and Hod(d)ell date from this time. Curiously the first recordings were double diminutives i.e the son of the son of Hudd, (as shown below) whilst another example was that of Robert Hudelin in the Assize Rolls of Bedford for the year 1247. Somewhat later was Willemus Hodell in the 1379 Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire, whilst the early church registers include William Huddle, at the church of St Mary Abbots, London on Boxing Day, 1582, and Elin Huddle who married John Tanner at the same church, on November 14th 1586. Elizabeth Hoddell was christened at St Giles Cripplegate, London, on December 20th 1685, and a curious recording is that of Isabella Hodedell, who married James Attryde at St Pancras, on Christmas Day, 1856. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Hudelin, which was dated 1208, in the Pipe Rolls of Lincoln, 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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