This very unusual surname is of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It derives from twin hamlets in the far north of Yorkshire near Yarm, now known as High and Low Worsall. These places were first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of the year 1086 as 'Wercesel', the translation being 'Weorcs Hall'. 'Weorc' was a personal name which occurred as the prefix of several northern sites, suggesting that it may have been tribal. The spelling changed to 'Wirkeshall in the year 1255, during the reign of Henry 11, the modern spelling being 16th century. Locational surnames were usually given to people who moved to other places, as an easy identification. As people only moved when they were forced to by economic circumstances, the spelling was often corrupted. In this case the recorded forms include Worsall, Worsell, Worshall, and Warstall, the latter being seemingly found only in County Durham. Examples of the name recordings include Jenata Worsall, christened at Gisburn, Yorkshire on May 24th 1601, William Worzal of Acomb, near York, who was christened there on April 19th 1781, and Benjamin Worsell, whose son William was christened at Wentworth, Near Wakefield, on November 22nd 1818. Other recordings are those of Sarah, the daughter of Thomas Wastell, christened at Gateshead in Durham, on April 5th 1691, and William Worsalls, who married Mary Sharples at Manchester Cathedral, on March 1st 1802. The coat of arms is of ancient design, and maybe 14th century. It has the blazon of an ermine field, charged with two red bars. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Wirkesall, which was dated 1219, who was a witness at the Assize Court of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017