Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is a medieval surname of French origins. It derives either from the word "revel," a nickname for a fun-loving, boisterous person, or from the personal name of endearment Revel. This was very popular in both England and France as shown in the recording of one Revel de Tetenia, in the Danelaw Documents of London in the year 1154. Another early nameholder was Sir Richard Revell or Rivell. He died in 1222, and was the sheriff of Devonshire and Cornwall during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as Lionheart, 1189 - 1199. The surname spellings include Revell, Revelle, Revel, Revill, Reavell, and others. The surname is said to have been particularly well recorded in Yorkshire from the late 14th century an example being that on July 12th 1590, Margaret Revill who married Robert Cawthorne at Rotherham. The coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of an ermine shield, charged with a red chevron between three golden mullets, and a border engrailed, sable. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Revel. This was dated 1177, in the Pipe Rolls of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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