This unusual and interesting name is biblical in origin, from the Hebrew given name "Imanuel", which means "God is with us". It was the name given to the promised Messiah by the Prophet Isaiah in the Olde Testament, and was first used as a personal name by the Greeks in the form "Manuel". In England the personal name "Emanuel" was introduced by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066 and was still being used as a personal name in Cornwall up until the 16th Century. In Medieval Europe, the name was often given in honour of a 3rd Century martyr. The marriage of John Emanuel and Hester Hanning was recorded at St. Olave's Church in Southwark on the 28th July 1775. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Emanuell, christened, which was dated 27th March 1597, in the "St. Andrew by the Wardrobe", London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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