Recorded in over forty spellings, this is a surname of originally Roman (Latin) origins. It derives from the ancient word 'avicellus' through the medieval 'uccello' and the French 'oiseau', all meaning a bird. It is therefore a medieval nickname for a person who was considered by his fellows to be 'bird-like', or more likely was occupational for a breeder of small birds and domestic fowels. The name spellings include Uccello, Uccelli, Uzielli, Aucelli (Italian), L'Oiseau, Oiseau, Loisel, Loizeau, Loyseau (French), and Ussell and Uzzell (English). Nicknames form one of the largest groupings in the surnames listing of Europe. It is estimated that at least fifteen percent of all names were originally nicknames, although some researcheres claim that it is much higher, and even that all surnames were once nicknames. As to when these names werte first created is unclear, but surnames themselves generally date from about the 14th century when pweople became more free to move about the countryside in search of jobs. Given that spelling was at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, it is hardly surprising that many variant forms were developed. The first known recording of the surname anywhere and in any spelling is that of Matthew Loisel. He appears in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Northumberland, England, in the year 1168.
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