Recorded as Mowle, Mowl, Mowll, Maule, Mule, the patronymic Mowles and others, this surname has a number of possible origins. It is generally accepted to be English and if so may have originated from the Old English pre 7th Century word "mul" meaning a step-relation, in most cases step-brother. It was the name of a brother of Ceadwalla, King of Wessex who died in 675 a.d. However, the name may not have survived the Conquest of England in 1066, as it is believed that the Domesday Book recordings of 1086 as Mule and Mulo may instead represent the Old Norse and Norman French "Muli" meaning nose, and presumably a nickname. The name may derive from the Middle English "mule" which is a metonymic occupational name for a driver of a pack of animals. Finally, the name can be from the medieval female given name "Molle" a pet form of "Mary" itself derived from the Aramaic "Maryam", a name from the very beginnings of history. Examples of the surname recordings include William Mole of Bocking, Essex, christened there on January 3rd 1557, Elizabeth Mowle who married William Trendel at Gt. Bentlry, Essex on May 19th 1575, and Hellen Moule, who married Xopher Pease at St Giles Church, Cripplegate, London on August 8th of the same year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David le Mul. This was dated 1199, in the Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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