Recorded as Tasell, Tassell, and Tasseler, this is an English surname of great antiquity. It is medieval, occupational, and described a cloth finisher, one who according to the famous Victorian etymologist, Canon Charles Bardsley writing in the year 1880, used a teasel of thorns to raise the nap on the cloth, with a prickly plant known apparently as 'Fullers thistle'. An act from the 4th year (1331) of the reign of King Edward 111rd of England stated that ...'in his craft and occupation, every fuller, rower (?) and tyaseler of cloth, shall exercise and use taysels, no cards, deceitfully impairing the same cloth.' Surnames of occupation, usually only became hereditary when a son followed a father into the same line of business or skill. Surprisingly many did not, and then the name usually died out. In this case we have good examples of early recordings including Gilbert le Tasselere and Matilda le Tasselere in the parliamentary rolls for 1375. Other examples include William Tassell who married Margery Downes at St Michael Cornhill, in the city of London, on June 9th 1559, and Edward Tesler, who is recorded in the register of students for Oxford University in 1610.
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