This interesting and long-established surname is of Old French origin, and is a locational name from Vauville in Calvados and La Manche, both so called from the Germanic personal name "Walo", meaning "Foreigner", and the Old French "ville", settlement (Latin "villa", country house, estate, later used of a group of houses forming a settlement). The surname was introduced into England by the Normans following the Conquest of 1066, and has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book (below). Locational names, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Further early recordings from England include: Robert de Wavill (Lincolnshire, 1220); Henry de Wayvill (Somerset, 1268); Richard de Weavile, noted with Henry de Wevile in the 1276 Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire, and Thomas de Weyvile (Sussex, 1327). In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt: Wavell, We(a)vill and Wevell. On September 5th 1813, John, son of John and Sarah Weavill, was christened at Meltham, Yorkshire. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a silver shield with three fleurs-de-lis of the field on a black chevron. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Waluile, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Devonshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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