Recorded in many forms as shown below, this ancient surname is English. It is a locational name from Yewdale in Lancashire, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "iw", yew tree, and the Middle English (1200 -1500) "dale", from the Olde English "dael", valley, and means "yew valley" or "valley of yew trees". The placename was first recorded as "Ywedalebec" in the Feet of Fines of 1196. Locational surname were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recorded in the Lancashire Church Registers are the christening of Thomas son of Thomas Udall, on September 25th 1664 at Clitheroe, and the marriage of James Udall and Elizabeth Kilner on June 8th 1680 at Cartmel Priory Church. The Coat of Arms most associated with this name has the blazon of a silver field charged with a red cross moline. The modern surname can be found as Udall, Udell, Yewdale, Yewdall, Yewdell, Yoodall, Yedall and even Uvedale. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia de Yowdall, which was dated 1379, in the "Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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