This interesting surname of English origin is a dialectal variant of Sewell which is derived from the Middle English given names Siwal(d) and Sewal(d), Olde English pre 7th Century Sigeweald and Soeweald, composed of the elements "sige". It may also be a locational name from Sewell in Bedfordshire, Showell in Oxfordshire, or Seawell, Sywell in Northamptonshire, all of which are so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "seofon" meaning "seven" plus "wella" "spring". The dialectal intrusion of the "t" was used to make for easier pronunciation.The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Sewall, Sewill, Sawell, Saywell, etc. Edmond Sawtell married Anne Broune on January 25th 1664 in London. Thomas, son of Edmund and Anne Sawtell, was christened on September 27th 1665, at St. Christopher le Stocks, London, and John, son of Edmon and Ann Sawtell, was christened on October 14th 1674, at St. Margaret, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Sewald, which was dated 1220, Liber Feodorum, Berkshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 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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