Recorded as Steel, Steele, Steeles, Stell, Stelle, and probably others in Anglo-Scottish. It has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "style" meaning steel, and was an occupational name for a foundry worker, one who worked with steel. It may also have originated as a nickname for one who was firm to the point of obstinacy or one able to absorb the rigours of life, "as hard and durable as steel", or for someone reliable "as true as steel". It may also be of English and Scottish locational origin from places called Steel in Ayshire, Berwickshire and Dumfrieshire in Scotland, and Northumberland, Westmorland and Shropshire in England. As an examples Steel in Northumberland was recorded as "Le Stele" in the Assize Court Rolls of 1269, and in Shropshire as "stile" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stigol," a stile or steep ascent. On October 27th 1548, Sybell Steele, was christened at the Church of St. Mary-le-Bow, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Stel which was dated 1206, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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