Recorded in several forms including Ryle, Royl and Royle, this interesting and unusual name is of pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon origins. It is a locational surname which derives from any of the places called Royle, Ryal, Ryhill, and Ryle in the counties of Cheshire, Northumberland, and Yorkshire. Most of these places mean the hill where rye was grown, from the Olde English pre 7th century "ryge-hyll". The place in Northumberland called Ryal is recorded as Ryhill in the year 1242, whilst those called Ryhill in Yorkshire appear as Rihella in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and as Rihull in the pipe rolls of Yorkshire 1219. Royle in Lancashire is so called from the Olde English word "ra", meaning roe deer, and "hyll" as before, the hill of the roe deer. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers include Anne Royle who married James Tomkyns on February 13th 1592 at St. Helen's church, Bishopsgate, in the city of London. A coat of arms granted to the Royle family of Canterbury in Kent, and Lestwick in Cheshire, has the blazon of a silver shield, charged with a bend between three red crosses. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bernard de Royl. This was dated 1230, in the Close Rolls of the county of Cheshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. 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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