Recorded in many spellings including Hassell, Hessel, Hussell, Issell, Issele, Issella, and Uzell, this surname is open to consdierable speculation as to its origin, of which there are three or possibly more, claimants. We believe it to be pre 7th century Olde English, and topographical, deriving from the words "haesel.- leah", the clearing in the hasel woods. Many early surnames originated from natural or man-made features in the landscape, since these made for easty identification. These could be major objects such as Castles or Hill, and lesser ones such as clearings in a wood. However the name could also be of Hebrew origins, and derive from the baptismal name Isaac, introduced into England by the famous Crusaders of the 12th century. The early church recordings include such examples, but they do not really help in deciding ghe origin. These recordings include Robert Hussell, baptised at the church of St. Mary Whitechapel, London, in 1615, and Ann Hessell, who married James Palmer at St. Marylebone, London, on May 11th 1763. Thomas Iselle, the son of Thomas, was christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on April 13th 1768. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Persona de Hassell, which was dated 1273, in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "the Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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