Recorded in several spelings including Eudall, Ewdale, Udale, Udall, Udell, Yewdale, Yoodall, Yedall and no doubt others, this is an English surname. It is locational from Yewdale in Lancashire, meaning the valley of the yew trees, and a centre for the making of the famous long bow. The placename was first recorded as "Ywedalebec" in the tax rolls known as the Feet of Fines in the year 1196. Locational surname were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were often identified by the name of their birthplace. Spelling being at best indifferent and local dialects very thick, soon lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. Early examples of surviving recordings in the church registers are those of Maudline Udale who married Wyllyam Smyth at St Andrews Enfield, Middlesex, on October 6th 1600, whilst Thomas Udall was christened on September 25th 1664 at Clitheroe, in Lancashire. The coat of arms most associated with this name has the blazon of a silver shield charged with a cross moline in red, the sign of the Crusaders. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Alicia de Yowdall. This was dated 1379, in the Yorkshire Poll Tax returns, during the reign of King Richard 11nd, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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