Recorded in the alternative spellings of Southerell, Southerill, and Sutherel, this name is believed to be descriptive habitational for one who resides on the south facing slope of a hill, or was from a former hamlet or village of the name which no longer appears to be recorded. The name as 'Southill' is found in the Bedfordshire village of that name, and as 'Southoe' in Huntingdon, and either villages could be originations for the surname. The name is very rare in all spellings, no recordings being found and Elizabeth Sutherel, the daughter of Sarah Sutherel (husbands name not known) who was christened at Christ Church, Spitalfields on June 6th 1787. It is possible that the name is an anglicized form of the Flanders 'Soutier', but this is not proven. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannis Southerell, which was dated 29th November 1663, a witness at St. Martins in the Field, Westminster, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as 'The Merry Monarch', 1660 - 1685. 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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