Recorded in several spellings including Lightowler, Lightoller, Lightollers, and Lightowlers, this is an English locational surname of early medieval origins. It derives from a place called Lightollers or Lightowlers, formerly a manorial estate in the parish of Stockport, Cheshire. A number of explanations have been offered for the meaning, the best explanation is that it is a development of the Olde English pre 7th century "liste-alr", meaning "a copse of light alder trees", or similar. Locational surnames were usually the first to be created, and certainly the first known recording of this surname is one of the earliest on record (see below). Examples of the recordings taken from authentic charters and registers include John Lightowlers of Withnell, in the register known as "Lancashire Inquistions" for the year 1606, Robert Lightowler of Wyndybank, in the Wills Register of Chester, in 1620, and John Lightollers, christened at St James church, Clerkenwell, London, in 1621. The first known recording is believed to be that of Michael de Lightholes, in the register of the abbey of Whalley, in the year 1250. This was in the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272.
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