There are two possible origins for this very interesting surname, recorded in the near "modern" spelling since the mid 16th Century (see below). The first is Old French, and a derived form of "de la Veille", literally translating as a member of the City Watch, an early policeman. The second possible origin is a development from the Olde English pre 7th Century "fugol". In surname etymology "fugol" means "wild bird", and as such is a nickname. South Western dialects did not distinguish between "f" and "v", and therefore the early surname forms included both "fogul", as in Roger Fogel of Sussex in the Subsidy Rolls of 1296, and Nicholas Vogel in the Somerset Rolls of 1327. By the 16th Century the spelling had softened to Voul and Vouell, whilst (de la) Veille had similarly developed to Veel and Veyll. The later recording examples include Amist Vaule, christened at St. Sepulchre Church, London, on July 9th 1721, whilst on January 27th 1772, James Vaul married Anne Loach, at St. Martin's Church, Birmingham. In this area the name is also found recorded as Vile and Viles, which seem to be dialectal variants developed by the Midland accent, although it is possible that these are a development of "Viel" again a nickname, this time from the Roman (Latin) "Vitalis", and meaning "lively". The plural form whether Vauls, Vaulls, Viles or Vaulles implies a patronymic, "Son of", although sometimes the form is purely dialectal to east pronunciation. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Vaulles, which was dated August 29th 1566, christened at St. Andrew's Church, Holborn, London, 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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