This very interesting surname which appears to be Scottish is in fact of pre Norman Invasion (1066) French, and was presumably introduced into England thereafter. It is job descriptive and originated as a metonymic occupational name for a fish merchant, but one who was specifically associated with mackerel fishing. The earliest recordings are found in the county of Lincolnshire, where a large mackerel industry existed upto the Seconf World War. Amongst the early recordings is that of William Mackerell in the Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire for the year 1273, whilst Richard Mackarel appears in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire for the same year. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings, and these include Mackerell, Mackrill, Mackrille, Macrell and Mackrell. Other recordings of the surname taken from the early church registers are Jannett, the daughter of Lawrence Mackrell, who was christened on March 13th 1583, at Market Rasen, whilst the christening of Johanes, son of Thomae Mackerell, took place on May 12th 1605, at Holbeach. On November 30th 1611, Wyllim Mackrill married Mary Roose at St. Leonard's, Cockerington, in the county of Lincoln. Curiously the coat of arms which was granted in Norwich in 1718, is spelt as Mac Kerell, obviously an attempt to distance the nameholder from his humble but honourable origins. This obviously cut no ice with the College of Arms as the blazon is a 'canting'or true representation of the name, being - per fesse blue and green, three mackerels naisant in pale proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Makarel, which was dated 1272, in the "Testa de Neville", Lincolnshire, 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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