This unusual and interesting name is of English origin from a now so called "lost" village. The derivation is either from the Olde English pre 7th Century "snorg(e)l", snail and "graf" a grove, thus denoting a place which had an abundance of snails, or from the Middle English "Snell", quick and lively. Representing a survival of the Olde English personal name "Snell", thus Snellsgrove. It is estimated that there are seven thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. Enforced clearing and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures in the 14th Century was a prime cause of the "disappearances" along with natural causes such as the Black Death in 1348. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Barbara Snelgrove married Ambrose Gutleridge, which was dated 1690, London, during the reign of King William III of Orange, 1689 - 1702. 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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