This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and can be either from a nickname, or from a topographical name. If the latter, it was used to denote residence near or on the banks of the River Mole in either Devonshire or Surrey and Sussex. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. There are two possible uses of the nickname "Mole", the first being for someone who supposedly resembled the burrowing animal, for example in having poor eyesight. The derivation for this source is from the Middle English "mol(le)". The second application was for someone with a prominent mole on the face, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mal", Middle English "mol". John Henry Mole (1814 - 1886), was a distinguished painter of water-colours and president of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours in 1879. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a silver shield with two red bars in chief three torteaux, the Crest being out of clouds proper a red cubit arm erect vested, the hand apaumee also proper. In Heraldry, silver denotes Peace and Sincerity, and red denotes Military Fortitude and Magnanimity. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Mol, which was dated circa 1272, in the "Book of Fees of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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