Recorded as Worvell and Worviell, this interesting and unusual surname is believed to be an English spelling of a Germanic surname. Believed to be of pre 7th century origins, it was originally either occupational or possibly a nickname either for a maker of dice or possibly a gambler! It is an example of the sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The derivation is from the the word "wurfel", meaning a dice, and a development of "werfan", to throw. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. In England early examples of the surname recording include those of Rebecca Worvell and Hugh Fenton that took place at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on October 2nd 1838, and that of James Worvell who married Mary Jackson on April 30th 1848 at St. Bride's Fleet Street, in the city of London. A coat of arms granted to the family in Germany has the blazon of a red shield charged with a silver dice in a shape of a lozenge, marked with six black dots. An early German recording is shown to be that of Hans Wuerful. This was dated November 22nd 1552, when he married Margaretha Fuchs at Hambuehl, Mittelfranken, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Charles Vth of the Holy Roman Empire, 1519 - 1558. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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