Recorded in several spelling forms including Pool, Poole, Pole, Paul, and Paule and the family name of the Barons de la Pole, the Earls of Pembroke, and the Dukes of Suffolk, as well as the Duke of Wellington who assumed the name of Wellesley-Pole, this is an English surname. It has three possible sources. The first is locational from the village of Poole near the city of Chester, or from the town Poole in Dorset, or perhaps other places called Pool or Poole in the British Isles, the second is topographical from the Olde English pre 7th century word "pol". This describes a person who dwelt by either a small lake or more usually a tidal stream. Early examples from these origins include Roger de Pole in the Pipe Rolls for the county of Wiltshire in 1191, Robert Poole, of Poole, Chester, in 1280, and John Pool in the rolls known as the Feet of Fines for the county of Essex in 1324. The third possible origin is quite different. It is an English form of the Roman (Latin) personal name "Paulus" meaning "little". This has always been a popular name in Christendom, being borne by St. Paul of Tarsus, and was a "crusader" name introduced by returning soldiers from the Holy Land. In England by the 12th century, it had become a popular surname. Recordings from this source include William Pol of Suffolk in 1188, and William Polle of Lincolnshire, in 1193. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mauritius de la Pole, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", 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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