This interesting and ancient surname has two possible origins. Firstly, the name may be of Old Norman French origin, and a topographical name given to someone who lived on an island, from the Old French, Middle English "isle", from the Latin "insula", isle, with the fused definite article "l". However, the name may also be of French locational rigin, from the town of Lille in Nord, deriving from the Old French "isle", as above. In both instances the surname also contains the genitive suffix "-s", indicating "of" a certain place. The name is found most widespread as Lyle, and is also found in Scotland from an early date, as a family called Lyle were barons of Duchal in Renfrewshire at the beginning of the 13th Century, while the name is first recorded there circa 1170, when one Radulphus de Insula appears as a witness. Other early recordings include: Peter de Isla, mentioned in the Red Book of the Exchequer in 1166; William de Lile, who witnessed a charter by Walter FitzAlan circa 1208; and Henry Lyle, recorded in 1319 in Cambridgeshire. One Elizabeth Lyles married Richard Grindall on September 8th 1618, at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family depicts a gold fretty of six, on a red shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hunfridus de Insula, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Wiltshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William 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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