This interesting surname is an English nickname from an aphetic form of the medieval English "apostel", apostle, itself from the Old English pre-seventh Century word "apostol" (via Latin from the Greek word" "apostolos", messenger, delegate), which may have been used to describe someone who played the part of one of the twelve apostles in a play or pageant or it may also ave been given to a particularly zealous Christian. Occasionally the surname may represent a survival of an Old English personal name "Possel".Variations of the personal name include "Postellus" in the Pipe Rolls of Surrey in 1176, and "Apostollus" was recorded in the Curia Rolls of Middlesex in 1203. The surname first appears in records in the late 12th Century, (see below). Richard Postel was listed in the Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1202. The Calendar of Early Mayor's Court Rolls mention William La Postle in 1300. William Postell departed London for Virginia, the New World in 1635 aboard the "Paule", The surname is found in the modern idiom as Postles, Posthill, Postill and Possell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Postel, which was dated 1170, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northumberland", 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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