This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Shawell' in Leicestershire. The placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Sawelle', in 1224 as 'Schadewelle' and by 1316 as 'Shathewell'. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century 'Sceath, Scead', boundary and 'Well, waell', well, spring, or stream, and means 'the boundary stream'. Locational names were usually given to the lord of the manor, and were used especially by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area. The development of the surname has included Shawle (1608) and Shaule (1616). The modern surname can be found as Shawl, Shawell and Shaul. One Rowland Shawl married Frances Taylor in May 1591 at Darley Dale, Derbyshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Shawell (christening), which was dated 16th June 1565, at Baumber, Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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