This interesting surname with variant spellings Jickles, Jickells, Jekylls, etc., of Breton or Cornish origin, derives from a Celtic personal name from the Olde Breton "Iudicael" composed of elements meaning "lord" plus "generous, bountiful" which was borne by a 7th Century saint, king of Brittany who abdicated and spent the last part of his life in a monastery. The suffix "s" denotes "son of". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include John Gikel (1201), the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", and Robert Jekel (1312) the "Feet of Fines of Essex". Parish Registers show the following variants; Mary Jeykils who married Nicholas Roberts on February 13th 1700 in St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene's, Milk Street, London, and Edmund Jeckelss who was christened on January 18th 1729 in St. Dunstan's, Stepney. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a fesse between three black hinds trippant on a silver shield, the Crest being a silver horse's head couped, black maned and bridled, gold studded and tasselled. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Iekel (Iukel) which was dated 1174, in the "Pipe Rolls of Hampshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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