This curious and uncommon name is of Old Cornish origin, found chiefly in the south eastern and northern parts of this ancient region. The surname has two possible interpretations; firstly, it may derive from the Cornish "ughella", translating literally as "higher", and used originally as a byname of nickname to indicate status, the yeomen or "upper" people. Secondly, Uglow may derive from the Cornish "ughlogh", upper inlet, used as a topographical surname to denote residence by or near such a feature. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created in Europe, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname development has included the following examples from Cornish Church Registers: Joan Ugler (1597); Nicholas Uglo (1599); and Thomas Ugloe (1609). The marriage of Richard Uglow and Elizabeth Braund was recorded at Launcells in Cornwall, on January 1st 1655. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Uglowe, which was dated October 30th 1559, witness to the christening of his daughter, Charytie, at Marhamchurch, Cornwall, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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