This surname of HEAL was a topographic name for someone who lived in a nook or hollow, and was derived from the Old English word HEALH. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. In northern England the word often has a specialized meaning, denoting a piece of land by the side of a river. In some cases the name may be a habitation name from several places in England so called. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Early records of the name mention Alexander de Hales, who was recorded in 1245 in County Norfolk. Ralph de Hales of County York was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Thomas de Hales of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name include Charles Hales and Elizabeth Fysshe who were married in London in 1575, and Isabella Hales, daughter of Henry Hales was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1662. James Hailes wed Marie Donaldson at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1805.
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