This most unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name deriving from the place called Yewdale in Lancashire, a valley at the north end of Coniston Lake. The place is recorded in the Lancashire Feet of Fines of 1196 as "Ywedalebec", and is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "iw", yew tree, with "dael", valley, thus "valley where yew trees grew". Locational surnames, such as this, were acquired by local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and who were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname from this source has a number of forms, ranging from Udall, Udell and Udale to Youdale, Youdell and Uvedale. Examples from Church Registers include: the marriage of John Youdell and Elizabeth Ritcheson at Crosthwaite, Cumberland, on August 17th 1567, and the christening of Isabell, daughter of Ralf Youdell, in Greystoke, Cumberland, on May 3rd 1626. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia de Yowdall, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", 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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