This most interesting and rare name, with variant spellings Roskelly and Roskilly is of Cornish locational origin from "Roskilly", an estate in the parish of Saint Keverne, which acquired its name from the Cornish elements "ros", moor, plus the second element "kelly", grove. During the middle ages, when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming more common, people often took the name of their former village, as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Hence placenames were one of the main influences in surname formation. The Cornish church registers record the following early entries of the surname: Henrie, Sampson and Edward sons of William Reskillie were christened in January 1580, January 21st 1581 and May 22nd 1586 at St. Keverne, Cornwall respectively while on August 13th 1611 John Reskillye married Grace Rise at St. Keverne. The first entry of the name in London church records is on November 6th 1597, when one Rachell Raskillie was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Reskillie, which was dated January 1580, a christening witness at St. Keverne, Cornwall, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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