Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is an English medieval surname. It has at least two possible origins. The first is as a metonymic occupational name, given to a man who made and or sold chains, fetters, and shackles. This is from the pre 7th century word sceacol, or the later Middle English schackel meaning a chain or bond. The second possible source is from the medieval personal name "Schackel". This is an English spelling of the Norse-Viking "Skokull," a personal name meaning "wagon-pole" and therefore probably used as a nickname for a tall, thin man. The surname development has included William Shakelle, the in Poll Tax rolls of the county of Yorkshire in 1379, and Jane Shackle in the same county in 1597. In the modern idiom the surname can be spelt Shackell, Shackel, Shackle, Skakle and Shekle. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Scakel. This was dated 1170, in the registers and charter of the Danelaw for the county of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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