This is a surname of great antiquity and not a little confusion as to it's correct origin. It is our opinion that like Powell and Pool(e) for example, it is generally a dialectal form of the Roman (Latin) "Paulus" meaning small. This is "small" as with "little" being used as a form of endearment, not as a description of a persons height or physical size. However the confusion arises owing to the fact that the Olde English word "pol" (pool) has also developed in many ways and with the overlaps in spelling, over the centuries some name holders will have a locational origin from one of the several places called Poole, Pole, Poling, etc. The name as Paul, appears in the 1086 Domedsay Book, however this is not a surname, and seems to be a mistaken spelling as the usual form even then was Pole or Poul. What is beyond argument is that from the earliest days the name has been very popular, and examples include William Polle of Lincoln in 1193 in the reign of Richard the Lionheart, John Poul of Huntingdon in Rolls of Ramsbury Abbey, Huntingdon in 1293, Nicholas Poles of Essex in 1358. The name appears in London in the 15th century however the important link spellings would appear to be Alice Polles who married William Carpenter at St Nicholas Acons on May 8th 1558, whilst on April 18th 1627 Sybell Powles married one Richard Yeaden, at the church of St Lawrence Puntney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hauldanus Paulus, which was dated 1182, in the Pipe rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The church builder," 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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