That this name is of French habitational origins is beyond argument, however, there is some dispute as to the development. The most probable origin is from the pre-medieval 12th Century "val", itself from the Roman (Latin) "vallis", and describing one who lived in a valley. The most usual spelling form is probably de Valle, but other variants include Delaval, Duval, Laval, and diminutive such as Valette, Duvallet and Vararino, the latter being one of the many Italian forms. The second possibility is as a derived form of the famous de Ville, again a topographical surname, in this case translating as "of the town", but more probably describing one who lived in the town centre, or by the Hotel de Ville - the Town Hall. The variant forms are very numerous and include, de Villier, Devil, and the diminutive Villaret and Villaron. As de Voiels this would seem to have a late Huguenot association, possibly through the Channel Islands, although this is not proven. Examples of the development include: Aaron de Veulles, of St. Clement's, Jersey, Channel Islands, on June 5th 1765, and Walter de Voielle, who was christened at St. Pancras', Old Church, London, on March 28th 1861. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gertrude de Volle, which was dated September 26th 1677, christened at Rosieres Aux Salines, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, during the reign of King Louis X1V of France, 1643 - 1715. 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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