Recorded as Rimell, Rimmell, Rimmill, Rymell, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is or was a metronymic that is to say it derives from the name of the first name bearers mother. The name itself originates from the Old English pre 7th century female name Rimhild. This translates as "border war", and suggests that in olden times, as claimed by many modern feminists, women bore the burdens of war as well as peace. They also owned land in their own right, and it would seem that if the wife was richer than the husband, then a son could be given the wifes name. The earliest recording of this name is that of Elias filius Rimilde, in the Curia Regis rolls of the county of Somerset in 1201, which is not really a surname as we would know it. The first proven recording is that of Robert Rimel as shown below in the 14th century. Other examples of early recordings of namebearers taken from surviving church registers of the city of London include Hugh Rimell, who married Ann Ledsam on March 7th 1602 at St. Martin Pomeroy, and Abraham Rimell who was christened on 28th April 1642 at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Rimel. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Edward IIIrd of England. He was known as the Father of the Royal Navy, 1327 - 1377. 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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