This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English "Yule", Christmastide, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "geol", reinforced by the cognate Old Norse "jol". The surname would have been given as a nickname to someone who was born on Christmas Day, or had some other connection with this time of year. This was originally the name of a pagan midwinter festival, which was later appropriated by the Christian Church for celebration of the birth of Christ. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. William Yoel is noted in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire (1297), and Robert Youle is listed in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. The name is also recorded very early in Scotland, Johannes Yhole was burgess of Haddington in 1374, and Simon Youle executed a charter of sale in Aberdeen in 1399. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings ranging from Youle, Youll, Yoell and Youhill, to Youell, Yuille and Yule. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of William Youle and Elizabethe Laslese at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on November 16th 1579, and the marriage of Christopher Youle and Isabell Attlee on May 28th 1623, at St. Gregory by St. Paul. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Yol, which was dated 1199, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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