This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin and is either a topographical or locational surname. As the latter, the name derives from any of the places called Kingsmill, such as those in Hampshire and in Kent, which derive their name from the Middle English "king", king, a development of the Old English pre 7th Century "cyning", with "mille, milne", from "mylen(e)", mill. The mill was an important centre in every medieval settlement and the miller a privileged and respected individual; the "king's mill", held of the king by the miller, would therefore be that much more important in terms of position and the term "Kingsmill" may also have been used as an occupational surname for the miller himself. As a topographical name, Kingsmill would have denoted residence at or by the king's mill. One Francis Kingsmell of Southampton, was listed in the Register of the University of Oxford in 1582, and the marriage of katherine Kingsmill and Thomas Lacy was recorded at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London, on the 15th May 1583. A Coat of Arms granted to a Kingsmill family of Millbrook, Hampshire, depicts, on a silver shield, crusily fitchee black, a chevron ermines between three millrinds, black, a chief of ermine. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de la Kingesmille, of Southampton, which was dated 1273, The Hampshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272-1307. 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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