This interesting name, with variant spellings Kierle, Keirl, Keirle, Kearle, Kirrell, Curl(le), Kriel etc., has two distinct possible origins, the first, and most likely, being a dialectal transposition of the Norman-French placename Criel-sur-Mer in Seine-Inferieure. Locational names were usually given to the Lord of the Manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their village or country of origin. Robert de Cruel mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Sussex was the first recorded bearer of the surname from this source in England. Simon de Crieil appears in 'The Cartulary of St. Gregory's Priory', Canterbury, in 1170 and a William de Kiriel in 'The Fine Court Rolls of Huntingdonshire', (1287). The second possibility is that the name originated as a nickname for one with curly hair from the Medieval English 'crull(e)', or 'curl(e)', a curl. See below for first recording of surname. London church registers show the marriage of Joane Kierle to John Harford in 1643, and the christening of Thomas Kearle in 1662. On December 11th 1763 James, son of Matthew Keirl, was christened in St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Burewoldus Crul, which was dated 1066, The Winton Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King William 1, 'The Conqueror', 1066 - 1087. 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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