This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant form of the more familiar surname Summerhill, which may be a locational or a topographical name. As the former, the surname derives from any of the various places called Summerhill in England, Wales and Scotland: in Worcestershire, near Kidderminster; in Clwyd, near Wrexham; in Dumfriesshire, near the town of Dumfries; and in Aberdeenshire, now a locality of the city of Aberdeen. There may also have been a place so called in Wiltshire that has now disappeared. These places are all named with the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "somer", summer, and "hyll", hill, denoting a hill used for summer grazing. As a topographical surname, Summerhill and its variant forms Summer(r)ill and Summer(r)ell, were used to distinguish a person living by such a hill. The development of the surname has included the following examples: Anne Sommerell (1593, Wiltshire); Grant Somerell (1599, ibid.); David Somemerrill (1612, Yorkshire); Thomas Summerell (1654, London); and Robert Summereill (1692, Perthshire). Among the recordings of the name in London Church Registers is that of the marriage of John Summerrell and Elizabeth Mary Harper at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, on February 14th 1809. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Somerhill, which was dated July 29th 1566, witness to the christening of his son, Thomas, at Marshfield in Gloucestershire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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