This intriguing personal name derives from the Scottish term "Meikill" meaning big, large. Its ultimate origins are from the Old English pre 7th Century "micel" of the same meaning and would have been given in early times as a nickname to a big, brawny man. Though the names are similar there is no evidence to support the frequent assumption that Meikle is a derivative of Michael. An interesting variant, Mickle is prevalent throughout Northumberland. On August 30th 1713, one Adam Meikle was christened at Heddon on the Wall, Northumberland and John Meikle was christened at the same location on April 14th 1715. The mill-wright, Andrew Meikle (1719 - 1811) invented the thrashing machine in 1784, going on to manufacture them near Dunbar. His son, George (deceased 1811) invented the water raising wheel used to drain Kincardine, Moss 1809. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willemus Mykyl, which was dated 1382, Episcopal Registry of Aberdeen, during the reign of King Richard II, "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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