This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an English locational name from a place so called, near Chelmsford in Essex, which was recorded as "Writelam" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Writela" circa 1136 in the Index to the Charters and Rolls in the British Museum. The place is so called from its situation on the river Wid, formerly the Writtle; the river name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century element "writol", babbling, cognate with the Olde English "writian", to chirp, chatter. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Early examples of the surname include the marriage of Richard Writle and Elizabeth Thusson on November 2nd 1574 at Cheriton in Kent; the marriage of James Writtle and Marye Hunt on April 28th 1586 at Newington by Sittingbourne, Kent; the marriage of William Writtle and Alice Jacob on January 31st 1604 at St. Paul's, Canterbury; the christening of Augustin, daughter of Thomas and Alice Writhell on August 24th 1617; and the marriage of Johnes Reitiell and Elizabeth Rickmar on June 1st 1630 at St. Mary's, Rickling in Essex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Randall Rightle, which was dated December 10th 1564, marriage to Joise Stewarde, at St. Mary Woolnoth, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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