Recorded in several known spellings including Wraxall, Wrassell, Wrexhall, Wressell, and Wressel, this is an English surname. It would seem to be locational from a place called Wraxall, of which there are at least three examples in the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset , although it is also possible that the name in the latter three spellings could originate from a 'lost' medieval village. If this was the case then we would be dealing with an example of the estimated three thousand villages and even small towns, that have one way or another, disappeared from the maps over the past five centuries. Most if not all these lost places, have provided us with surnames, and it is often only the surviving surname which in most cases gives a clue to the former existence of the place itself. Wraxall in Dorset, believed to mean the place of the buzard, is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Brocheschale, an excellent example of how spelling and dialect have changed almost completely in the past nine hundred years. Being locational this surname is a 'from' name. That is to say a name given to a person after he or sometimes she, moved to another area. Spelling being at best indifferent, lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. Early examples of the surname recording include Thomas Wraxal at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 10th 1559, Nicholas Wressel at All Hallows church, London Wall, on October 26th 1680, Abraham Wressell at the same church on February 6th 1763, and Peter Wrassell at St Johns Bermondsey, on August 6th 1828.
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