Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is is an Anglo-French surname, of Breton or Cornish origins. Now most popular in England as Jekyll, it derives from the original Celtic personal name 'Indicael'. This was composed of elements which mean 'generous lord'. The name became very popular as 'ledecael' and later again as 'Gicquel', finally surviving in modern French as 'Jezequel'. A 7th century saint named Indicael was a king of Brittany who abdicated, and spent the last part of his life in a monastery. The modern English surname, found in its native areas of Devon and Cornwall, is also found in areas of Breton settlement such as East Anglia and Yorkshire. The spellings are known to include Jekyll,Jiggle, Jewell, Jockle, Joel, Joule, and the patronymics such as Jewells or Joules. The first recording of the family name in any spelling in the British Isles is shown to be that of Richard Juel. This was dated 1247, in the Bedfordshire Assize Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was often 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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