This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and derives from either a nickname or a given name. In the former case, the nickname was used of a fun-loving, boisterous person, derived from the Middle English and Old French word "revel", meaning "festivity, tumult, or riot", from the Old French verb "reveler", to revel, ultimately from the Latin "rebellare", to rebel or riot. "Revel" was also commonly used in medieval England and France as a given name, as in "Revel de Tetenia", recorded in circa 1154 in the Danelaw Documents of London. Sir Richard Revell or Rivell (died 1222), knight and landowner, was sheriff of Devonshire and Cornwall in the reign of Richard 1. The surname, with variant spellings Revell, Revel, Revill and Reavell, is particularly well recorded in Yorkshire from the late 14th Century. On July 12th 1590, Margaret Revill and Robert Cawthorne were married at Rotherham, Yorkshire. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is an ermine shield with a red chevron charged with three golden mullets, and a border engrailed sable, the Crest being a cubit arm in armour holding a lion's paw erased all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Revel, which was dated 1177, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", 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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