This interesting surname, with variant spellings Mule, Moule, Mowl, Mowll, etc., has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated from a medieval given name, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "mul" meaning mule or half breed. This was the name of a brother of Ceadwalla, King of Wessex (deceased 675), and is also found as a placename element. However, it may not have survived to the 1066 Conquest and Domesday Book "Mule" and "Mulo" may instead represent the Old Norse "Muli" meaning muzzle or snout. It may also derive from the Middle English "mule" meaning mule and originated as a nickname for a stubborn person or a metonymic occupational name for a driver of a pack of animals. Finally, it can be from the medieval female given name "Mulle", a variant of "Molle" a pet form of "Mary" from the Aramaic "Maryam", which is a compound of "Mar" meaning drop plus "yar" sea. John Mowle and Elizabeth Allarde were married on January 26th 1589, at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. On March 8th 1600, Elizabeth, daughter of John Mowle, was christened in the same place. Anne, daughter of Humphrey Mowle, was christened at St. Margarets, Lothbury, London, on January 24th 1607. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David le Mul, which was dated 1199, 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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