This interesting name is of English Medieval origins and derives from a locational site called "Whitmill". This translates literally as either "the white mill" or (possibly), "the mill of the Hwita people", an Anglo-Saxon tribe found in the Derbyshire and Yorkshire regions in the pre 8th Century. We have not however been able to identify such a spot, and it is assumed that it has become one of the estimated seven thousand now "lost" hamlets or villages absorbed by developing towns. The surname has several spelling variants including Whitnell, Whitmell and Whitmill. Although this name is believed to be "Northern" the majority of early recordings are in London area. These include Eliza Whitmell of Cripplegate in 1693, Henry Whitmill, (also recorded as Whittmill and Whitmell!). 1685-1693, and the father of Eliza, whilst Sarah Whittmal was recorded in Lancashire in 1783 and Mary Whitmill in Halifax, Yorkshire in 1808. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elisebeth Wittmell, which was dated February 16th 1647, christened at St. Brides Church, Fleet Street, London, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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