Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is an English surname but one of French and Breton origins. It is derived from the pre 7th century Old Breton personal name "Indicael", which is or rather was, composed of elements which translated as " The Lord is bountiful". Over the centuries the spelling in France changed to ledecael and later to Gicquel, and this survives in French naming as Jezequel. An early king of Brittany who later abdicated and spent the last part of his life in a monastery, was called St.Iedecal. The modern English surname, found in its native areas of Devon and Cornwall, is also recorded in other areas including East Anglia and Yorkshire. These places were settled by Breton followers of King William 1st, 1066 - 1086, after the Conquest of 1066. Versions of the name spelling as surnames include Jelk, Jelks, Jekyll, Jiggle, Jewel, Jockle, Joel, Juhel and Joule.. The first recorded spelling of the family name in England is shown to be that of Richard Juel. This was dated 1247, when he was a witness recorded in the register of the Bedfordshire Assizes, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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