This interesting and unusual name is of early medieval French origin, and was introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and is in most cases a topographical surname for someone who lived by a fish-weir, although it may also be an occupational name for the person in charge of a fishing-weir. The name derives from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "kidel, kydel", from the Old French "cuidel, quidel" (of Breton origin), meaning a fish-weir, a dam, weir, or barrier in a river with an opening fitted with nets for catching fish. Topographical surnames, such as this, were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The modern surname can be found recorded as Kiddle and Kiddell, and it was first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of William Kiddle and Prudence Jones on April 18th 1775, at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon Kidel, which was dated 1219, in the "Book of Fees of Kent", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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