This interesting and unusual name is topographical, and is of Anglo-Saxon origin; It is a localized dialectal pronunciation of the Olde English pre 7th century placename Fierol, but now called Firle, a place near Lewis, in East Sussex. This placename and hence the later surname translates as the place of the oak trees. The village name is first recorded as "Firolaland" in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of 790 a.d., and later as Ferle in the Domesday Book of 1086, certain letters such as v and f being interchangeable in Medieval English. Residential surnames of this type which described where a person lived or had lived in former times, were very popular, as both natural and man-made features provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The modern surname can be found recorded in several spellings including Ferrall, Ferrill, Verrall, Verrill, Verrell, Verrelle and Verralls. Recordings of the surname from the early surviving church registers of the city of London include: the christening of John Verrall, the son of Richard and Mable Verrall, on August 23rd 1663, at St. Botolph without Aldgate, and the marriage of Thomas Verrall and Mary Gatland on September 30th 1718, at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf. The first recorded spelling of the family name in these registers is believed to be that of Johanna Ferrall. This was dated 1575, when she is recorded at St James Clerkenwell, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, 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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