Recorded as Yousef and Yusuf, this is the original arabic form of the famous biblical name Joseph. The descent is from Ibrahim (Abraham) the ancestor and revered prophet of the Arabs. According to the the Islamic Names Survey first published in 1922, in early records his sons Ishaq (Isaac) and Yaqab (Jacob) as well as Jacob's son Yusuf (Joseph) appear regularly amongst the venerated early prophets. In the Muslim etymology, the names of these early prophets are surrounded by an aura of blessing and protective power, which no doubt contributed to their popularity.Hereditary surnames in the Western tradition of a fixed spelling family name were largely unknown in the Muslim faith, and indeed have only become so in most countries of the Middle East in the past fifty years, and this is mainly resulting from the growing power of tele-communications, which requires easy identification. The name as Youself or Yusuf is believed to translate as 'god may add to' or similar, although the precise meaning in the ancient times was probably quite different to the academic assertions of the 20th century. 'Josephus of London' was recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and Joseph of Lincoln appears in the Danelaw Rolls of the year 1147. 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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