This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a now 'lost' place, thought to have been in Devonshire, due to the large number of recordings in this county. The placename means 'Timmo's spring or stream', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Timmo', of uncertain origin, and the Old English 'wella, woella', meaning spring or stream. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since circa 1100, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eight of the population perished, or to the widespread practice of 'clearing' large areas of land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool-trade in the 14th and 15th Centuries. The modern surname can be found as Tymewell, Timewell, Tymwell and Timwell. Among the recordings in Devonshire are the marriages of John Timewell and Mary Beedle on July 19th 1632 at Stockleigh Pomeroy, and of William Timewell and Grace Chin on July 27th 1691 at Credition. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edmonde Tymewell (marriage to Agnes Trewlove), which was dated July 1st 1550, St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, during the reign of King Edward V1, 'The Boy King', 1547 - 1553. 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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