This surname HEAZEL was a locational name 'of Hessle' a township in the parish of Wragby, County Yorkshire. During the middle ages it was customary for a man to take the name of the village or town where he lived. This name would identify his whole family, and followed them wherever they moved. Alured del Hesel who was documented in the year 1182, appears to be the first of the name on record. Gamel Hesel was documented in London in the year 1203, and Hugh de Hesill appears in Yorkshire in 1204. Edward Hassell of County Somerset, was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Cristians de Hesill of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Willelmus de Hesill, 1379. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Later instances of the name include Joseph Hazel and Martha Toms who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1788, and John Hazell and Sarah Gurney were married at the same church in the year 1805. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is often assumed that men 'adopted' their surnames. Some certainly did, but the individual himself had no need for a label to distinguish him from his fellows. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each knight owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized. Monasteries drew up surveys and extents with details of tenants of all classes in their services. Any description which identified the man was satisfactory, his father's name, the name of his land, or a nickname known to be his. The upper classes mostly illiterate, were those with whom the officials were chiefly concerned and among them surnames first became numerous and hereditary.
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