This interesting name is of Norman origin, introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after 1066. The surname is locational, from the place called 'Lacelle' in Orne, in northern France, and derives from the Olde French 'la', the , and 'celle', meaning a hermit's cell, from the Latin 'cella', a small room. Although the first true recording of the surname does not appear until the mid 12th Century in England, it is known that one Roger de Lascelles held land in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire around 1130. London church recordings include one Margaret Lessells who was christened in 1584 at St. Peter's, Westcheap, Elizabeth, daughter of Phillip and Ann Lascelles, was christened at St. Antholin's, Budge Row, on August 31st 1692, and Edmond Lascelles married Mary Applebury on August 13th 1695. Edward Lascelles (1740 - 1820) was created the first Earl of Harewood in 1812. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Laceles, which was dated circa 1150, Charles of the Abbey of Rievaulx, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Stephen, Count of Blois, 1135 - 1154. 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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