Recorded as Weal, Weale, Wheal, Wheel, Wheale, Weel, Weeles, Weell and others, this is an English surname. It is said that there are two possible origins. The first being that it is a dialectal variant of the name Weld. This is or was a topographical name for someone living on or near woody or rugged waste ground, and a derivation of the Old English pre 7th century words 'wald or weald'. Secondly and probably apply to the spellings as Wheel or Wheele, it may be a metonymic or occupational nickname for a maker of wheels, or a topographical name for someone who lived near a water-wheel.If so the deriivation is from the Old English pre 7th century 'hweol', meaning a wheel. In the surviving early church registers of the city of London we have recording such as Alicia Weale who married Robertus Moorto on January 26th 1560 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, James Wheele who married Anne Henley at St James Westminster, on October 19th 1680, and Lancelot Weals who married Tabitha Lucas at St Georges Chapel, Mayfair, on January 19th 1749. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Simon del Wele. This was dated 1329 in the register of the Freemen of the city of York, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward IInd of England, 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as the 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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