Recorded in several forms including Sokal, Sokale, Sokell, Sockell and others, this very interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly; it may be of Czechoslovakian origin and a nickname from the Slavonic word "sokol" meaning a falcon, or a metonymic occupational name for a falconer. Secondly, it may be of Eastern Ashkenazic origin, being one of the many ornamental surnames of Middle Europe taken from animal names. The surname recordings in England are at least 18th Century, and early examples taken from surviving church registers include Lydia Sockell who married George Knight on June 13th 1776 at St. Leonards, Shoreditch, and Harriet, the daughter of William and Ann Sokale, who was christened on July 24th 1808 at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Sokell who married John Reed, at St. Lukes, Old St. Finsbury, in 1767. This was during the reign of King George 111rd of England, sometimes known as "Farmer George", 1760 - 1820. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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