This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English and French origin, created from an Old French word assimilated into Middle English. The surname is topographical, for someone who lived on or by a bump or hillock of land. The name derived from the Middle English, Old French "pomel", bump, hillock, from the Latin "pomellum", a diminutive of "pomum", apple, fruit, used here in a transferred sense to describe such a rounded hump of land. Topographical surname were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names for members of the small communities of medieval Europe. The surname development includes Roger Pumell (1582, Berkshire), Rebecka Pumill (1616, ibid.) and James Pummell (1696, London). The marriage of John Pummell and Rosamond Huffman was recorded at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London, on June 8th 1761. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alys Pummell (marriage to Robert Lwcas), which was dated October 28th 1562, Chieveley, Berkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558-1603. 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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