This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the late Olde English pre 7th Century "wil", mechanical contrivance, trick (Middle English "wile"), ultimately from the Old Scandinavian "vel", trick, also used in the sense of "engine, trap". The surname therefore has a number of possible origins, depending on the particular usage of the above word. Firstly, Wile may be of topographical origin from residence by a fish-trap or weir, as in Adam de la Wile (Worcestershire, 1221), and Walter atte Wyle (Sussex, 1296).Topographical surnames were widespread in the Middle Ages, as natural and man-made features in the landscape provided obvious and convenient means of identification in the small communities at that time. The name may also be locational from any of the various places named with the Olde English "wil"; for example, Wild in Berkshire, recorded as "La Wile" in the 1183 Pipe Rolls of that county, and (Monkton) Wyld, Dorset, written as "La Wilae" in 1186. One Osbert de Wila was noted in the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire, dated 1204. Finally, Wile may be occupational in origin, for a trapper or hunter, or a nickname for a "man of many wiles". Recordings include: Robert le Wile (Norfolk, 1195), and John Wiles (Lincolnshire, 1202). On November 9th 1637, Dorathie Wile and John Gould were married at All Hallows, London Wall, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de la Wile, which was dated 1185, in the "Pipe Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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