Recorded in the spellings of Wigsell and Wigzell, this is an English surname. It almost certainly originates from the village of Great Wigsell near Robertsbridge in the county of East Sussex, although the greatest number of recordings are to be found in the diocese of Greater London, not so far away. The placename meaning is probably the same as that of the Derbyshire village Wigwell, which may be either Wicga's spring (waella), with Wicga being an early pre 7th century Olde English personal name, or possibly more logically from "wic waella" meaning the (dairy) farm by the spring. Locational surnames by their very nature are usually "from" names. That is to say names that were given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere, often in search of work. It was and it sometimes remains, that the easiest way to identify a stranger was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, lead to the development of "sounds like" forms as in the change from Wigsell to Wigzell. Early examples of the surname recordings include: Thomas Wigsell who married Martha Christopher at the church of St Gregory's by St Pauls, in the city of London, on February 7th 1637, and John Wigzell, the son of Richard and Sarah Wigzell, christened at St Andrews Holborn, on March 8th 1778.
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