This surname of ONCKELET was a nickname for the term of relationship, Uncle, and was originally derived from the Old Latin word AVUNCULUS. The name was brought into England during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066 in the form ULFRKETILL, and it was a popular given name in the North of England in the early Middle Ages, especially in the form ULFKELL. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Early records of the name mention VLCHETEL (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. William Uncle, was recorded in Lancashire in 1185, and Eustace le Uncle was documented in 1200 in County Yorkshire. John le Uncle appears in County Essex in the year 1273.
There is a notation in a document that states "Lease to Thomas Unkle of a wood within the Manor of Bolynbroke" which is dated November 30th, 1485.
John Lucas and Jone Unkelles were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1551, and John Uncle of County Sussex, registered at Oxford University in 1607.
Margaret, daughter of John Uncle was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1670, and Thomas Uncle and Louisa Maria Noble were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1792.
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