This ancient and distinguished surname, of Old French origin, was introduced into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066, and subsequently came to Ireland after the Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1170. The derivation is from the Old French "tirel", used of an animal which pulls on the reins, a derivative of "tirer", to pull, draw, which was given as a nickname to a stubborn or obstinate person. The surname has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book (see below). Further early examples include: Rocelinus Tirel (Gloucestershire, 1127); Hugo Tirell (the Book of Seals for Essex, dated 1153); and Henry Terel (Worcestershire, 1275).In the Ormond Deeds and other early medieval Irish records the name occurs frequently from the year 1176 onwards, the most prominent of the many medieval officials of the name being Hugh Tirrell, seneschal of Ulster in 1224. From the late 13th Century the surname appears as Tyrel, Tyrell, Terle and Terell in Irish and English Records. One Richard Terle was a tenant at Alciston, Sussex, in 1335, and a John Terle was recorded at Stanbridge, Bedfordshire, in 1475. Tyrrell's Pass in the Leinster county of Westmeath got its name from the victory won there in 1597 by Captain Richard Tyrrell, one of O'Neill's ablest commanders. On September 4th 1562, Joan, daughter of Robert Tearle, was christened at Stanbridge, Bedfordshire, and on March 12th 1730, John Tearle, an infant, was christened at St. Vedast's, Foster Lane, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Tirel, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Essex, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 -1087. 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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