This unusual and interesting surname of Old Germanic origin, is a patronymic of the male given name "Serlo", deriving from the Old German personal name "Sarilo" or "Serilo", thought to have been a byname originally, and equivalent to the Old Norse name "Sorli" (in Old English "searu" "armour") meaning perhaps "defender", "protector". The name was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Serles, Searelles, Sarles, Serls, etc.. One, Hester Serles was christened on November 10th 1593, at St. John, hackney. John, son of William Searles, was christened on September 6th 1601, at St. John, Hackney, and Ann Saerles was christened at St. Andrew, Holborn on May 8th 1617. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Serle, witness, which was dated 1226, "The Fines Court Records of 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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