This most interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin; it is one of the variant forms of the surname Wheel, which may be either an occupational or a topographical name, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hweol, hweowol", wheel, in Middle English "whele". As a metonymic occupational name, Wheel would have denoted a maker of wheels, for vehicles, or for use in spinning or various other manufacturing processes. As a topographical surname, Wheel, and its many variant forms, ranging from Wheele, Wheels, Wheal(e), Wheals, and While to Whewell, Wheywell and Whaywell, would have been used for someone who lived near a water-wheel. In some cases, the name may also be occupational for someone in charge of a water-wheel (one Hugh atte Wheole was recorded in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Somerset). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include the marriage of Francis Waywell and Isabell Quince at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London, on July 5th 1637, and the christening of Mary Waywell on October 12th 1739, at St. Chad's, Lichfield, in Staffordshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Isabella del Wele, which was dated 1297, in the "Minister's Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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