Recorded in several spellings including Curl, Curle, Kerle, Kearle, and Kirl, this ancient English surname has several possible origins. Firstly, it may be Anglo-Saxon, and a Lincolnshire locational name from either of two places named Crowle, It derives from the pre 7th century word "crull", meaning curly or winding. Crowle in Worcestershire, recorded as "Croelai" in the Domesday Book, is a compound of the Olde English "croh", bend, with "leah", wood, clearing. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname may also have originated as a nickname, deriving from the Middle English "curl(e)", meaning curly. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance the "curly haired one". William Curle was a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1202. Examples of recordings include Mary Kearle charistened at All ]halows, London Wall, on February 7th 1602, and John, the son of Edward and Frances Curl, christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on May 31st 1631. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Burewoldus Crul. This was dated 1086, in the "Book of Winton", Hampshire, during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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