We often try to tell people that their name spelling has changed over the centuries, this is a good example of just how far! Found recorded as Yeell, Yele, Yell, Yeeles and Yeiles, and probably other forms as well, it is "Yeiles" which is the link to the original base. In simple terms the origin is Norman French, from Olde German, but ultimately Ancient Greek, and in the 20th Century the spelling form for both christian name and surname is Giles or Jiles. The first meaning was "kid" a term of endearment which was latinised from the Greek as "Egidius." This in turn travelled with the Roman Invaders around the First Century a.d.to Germany and France where it was "shortened" to Gilo and Gile.
In the Alpes Maritime region of France it became Gidi, a formin which it still survives. The name was introduced into England and Scotland by the Norman Invaders of 1066, there being several recordings in Domesday Book (1086) as Gilo and Ghilo. These are original "names" not surnames, surnames were rather later. Included in the early recordings are Gisle of Lincoln c 1154, and Egidius, also of Lincoln, in the same period. It is not clear when the change came to Ye(i)les etc, but the name appears in London early in the 17th century. These recordings include Hugh Yeeles who married Mary West at St Marys Church, Putney on September 23rd 1623, and Margaret Yell who married William Phillips at the church of St Katherine by the Tower, on September 29th 1630. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey Gile, which was dated 1176, in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The church builder," 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.© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2024