This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a variant spelling of the name Wysall, a locational name from a place so called in Nottinghamshire, and first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Wisoc", as "Wisho" in the Pipe Rolls of 1199, "Wisou", in 1236 and "Wisow" in the Fees of 1242. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "weoh", a heathen temple, with "hoh", a spur of a hill. During the Middle Ages as it became more usual for people to migrate from their places of origin, the custom developed of adopting the placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Among the sample recordings in Nottingham is the marriage of one John Whysall and Elisabeth Burrows on June 29th 1791 at St. Mary's, Nottingham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Whissell, (witness), which was dated January 14th 1643, St. Giles, Cripplegate, during the reign of King Charles 1, "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.
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