Recorded in many forms including Udale, Udall, Udell, Ubdale, Ubsdall, Ubsdale, Ubsdell, Yewdale, Yewdall, Yewdell and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational either from the village of Yewdale in Lancashire, and meaning "yew valley" or it may be from a now "lost" medieval village of "up dale" or similar, a place "up the valley". Yewdale was first recorded as "Ywedalebec" in the tax registers known as the Feet of Fines in 1196. Locational surname were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recorded in the early surviving church registers are examples such as Thomas Yewdale at St James Clerkenwell in the city of London on June 1st 1552, the wedding of Maudline Udale to one Wyllyam Smyth at St Andrews Church, Enfield, Middlesex on October 6th 1600, and the christening of Thomas, son of Thomas Udall, on September 25th 1664 at Clitheroe, Lancashire. Other recordings include the marriage of James Udall and Elizabeth Kilner on June 8th 1680 at Cartmel Priory Church, and that of Fanny Ubsdale who married William Ashton at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on August 25th 1814. The coat of arms most associated with this name has theblazon of a silver field charged with a red cross moline. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia de Yowdall, which was dated 1379, in the "Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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