Recorded in several spellings including Wassell, Wastall, Washtell, Wathall, Wattall, and Wathell, this is an English surname. It is either a topographical from residence near a stone built place to the west of a village, or more likely it is locational from one or any of the places which derive their name from the same words of "west" and "halh". The latter probably described either a manor house, or a civic meeting place such as a council chamber or law-court. There are several village examples such as Westhall in Suffolk, Westhall near Ripley in Surrey, and Westhill in Devon. Locational names were originally given either to the lord of the manor, or to those villagers who had left their place of origin to settle elsewhere, and were most easily identified by the name of their birthplace. Early examples of the surname recording include Agnes Westall and Walter Bradforth, who were married in 1541 at St. Margaret's Westminster, Owen Wessall, who in 1564 was entered in the register of students of Oxford University, and Margeret Wathall who married Aaryan More at St Johns Hackney, in the city of London, on February 20th 1603. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Richard atte Westhalle. This was dated 1302, in the pipe rolls of the county of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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