Recorded in a wide variety of spellings as shown below, this is an English surname, but one of French Breton or Celtic Cornish origins. It derives from an ancient personal name which in pre 7th century Brittany was "Indicael", translating as 'Bountiful lord,' a meaning which no doubt contributed to its growing popularity. In later Medieval times it became 'ledecael' and later again 'Gicquel', surviving in modern French as 'Jezequel'. St Indicael was a king of Brittany who took to religion and abdicated, spending the last part of his life in a monastery, in quiet contemplation. The modern English surname found in its native counties of Devon and Cornwall, as well as in Breton settlement areas such as East Anglia and Yorkshire, includes such forms as Jekyll, Jiggle, Jewell, Jockle, Joel and Joule. An early example of a recording in a surviving register of Elizabethan times is that of Anne Jewell and Nicholas Boane. They were married at St. Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London, on August 15th 1568. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Richard Juel. This was dated 1247, in the Assize Rolls of the county of Bedfordshire, in the reign of King Henry 111rd, 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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