This surname de L'isle was a locational name 'the dweller at the isle', from residence thereon. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. During the middle ages it became customary for a man to be named after the village where he lived, or where he held his land. This name was given to his family, and it identified them wherever they moved. Early records of the name mention Robert del Isle, during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Robertus del Isle of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Lisle of County Lancashire, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1583. Davie Lisle and Jane Harrison were married at the same church in the year 1747. Nicholas Lyle married Elizabeth Davenport at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1744. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. An eminent member of the name was Alicia Lisle (1614-1685) the English parliamentarian. She was the widow of one of Cromwell's lords, she was beheaded at Winchester by order of Judge Jeffreys for sheltering two of Monmouth's rebels, after the battle of Sedgemoor. At Charles I's execution she said that her ' blood leaped within her to see the tyrant fall'. The name is also spelt Lyle. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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