This unusual surname derives from the personal name "Paul", which has always been a very popular name in Christian Europe. The pharisee Saul of Tarsus adopted the name "Paul" after his conversion to Christianity on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus (circa A.D. 34), and thereafter was extremely active as a missionary throughout the Roman Empire. He is credited with being the one to establish christianity as a major world religion. His popularity and fame is reflected in the prevalence of the name and its many variants. The origin of the name Roman, from the Latin "Paulus", meaning "small". William Paul (1599 - 1655) was chaplin to Charles 1 during the Civil War and was consecrated Bishop of Oxford in 1663 after the Restoration. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Haldanus Paulus, which was dated 1182, in the "Suffolk Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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