This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Norville, Norvell, Nervel, Nerval, Norwell, etc., is a dialectal variant of the locational name Norwell in Nottinghamshire, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "north" meaning "north" plus "wella", "waella" "spring" or "stream", hence "dweller by the north spring or stream". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Guy Norville who married Anne Gravell on March 4th 1613, at St.Mary's, London. Mary, daughter of William and Mary Norvell, was christened on October 29th 1688, at St. Olave, Southwark, and Anne, daughter of William and Anne Nervel, was christened on November 30th 1735, at Selsey, Sussex. Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Nervel, was christened at Christ Church Spitalsfield London, on March 28th 1740. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Northewelle, which was dated 1296, "The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1, "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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