This unusual and interesting surname is an English metonymic occupational name for someone who worked with shovels, either making or selling them, or who used a shovel regularly in his work. The name derives from the Middle English "Schovel", which in turn comes from the Old English pre 7th Century "Scofl", a derivative of "Scufan", to push or shove. In the modern idiom, the surname has a number of variations, ranging from "Shouler", "Showler" and "Showl" to "Showell", "Shoveller" and "Shovel(l)"."Showl" is a dialectic variant of "Shovel". The development of the surname (in London) includes the following: Elsabethe Showler (1602), Hester Shouler (1633), and John Shewler (1688). The marriage of Margery Showell and Richard Greene was recorded at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on September 19th 1586. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Schovelere, which was dated 1301, Oxfordshire Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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