This name, with variant spellings Wombell, Woombell, Woombill, Woomble and Womwell, is of northern English locational origin from a place in the West Riding of Yorkshire called Wombwell. Recorded as Wanbella in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as Wambwelle c.1200 in Early Yorkshire Charters, the name derives from the Olde English pre 7th personal byname Wamba meaning "rounded" (perhaps used here in a transferred sense to describe a mound or hill), plus the Olde English "Wella", a spring or stream; hence, "Wamba's Spring" or "the spring by the mound". The surname from this source is first recorded in the early 13th Century, (see below). In 1379 one, Isabella de Wombewell appears in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire and in 1558 Thomas Wombwell and Annie Perye were married in St. Michael's Church, Cornhill, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reiner de Wambewell, witness, which was dated 1219 - The Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry III, The Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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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