This unusual surname is ultimately of Old Germanic origin, and was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The derivation is from the Norman male given name "Serilo, Sarilo", equivalent to the Old Norse "Sorli", and akin to the Olde English "searu", armour, so meaning perhaps "Defender" or "Protector". The personal name is recorded as "Serlo" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Essex, and appears with surname in the following instances: Serlo le Flemyng (Lincolnshire, circa 1150); Serle Gotokirke (Cambridgeshire, 1273); and Serill' Pynder, (Yorkshire, 1379). Early examples of the surname include: Hugo Serle (Dorset, 1250), and William Serell (Yorkshire, 1379). In the modern idiom the surname has four variant spellings: Searl, Searle, Serle, and Serrell.On February 16th 1547 Edward Searle, an infant, was christened at Epping, Essex, and on June 9th 1566 Katherine Searle and Roberte Southerne were married in St. Mary at Hill, London. Francis Searle, aged 28, an early emigrant to America, embarked from London on the ship "Paule", bound for Virginia, in 1635. A Coat of Arms granted to the Searle family is a red shield, on a silver chevron between three silver trefoils slipped, as many pellets, the Crest being a gold lion rampant guardant, holding a mast, on the top a silver flag charged with a red cross. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Serle, which was dated 1226, in the "Feet of Fines of Berkshire", during the reign of Henry 111, known as "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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