The surname of POWELL was a baptismal name 'the son of Hoel' an ancient Welsh personal name which is found in small numbers in all the provinces of Ireland. It is also an occasional synonym of Guilfoyle. The name was also locational, and meant the dweller by the pool, from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Henry Powel who was recorded in the year 1273 both in London and Wales. Jordan de Powell, was documented in the year 1372 in Wales. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. Later instances of the name include John Powell, of Oxford who registered at Oxford University in June 1532 and William Pyper married Jone Apowell at St. Dionis, Backchurch, London in 1547. John ap-Howell was the prependary of St. David's in the year 1554. Notable members of the surname were Frederick York Powell (1850-1904) the English historian and writer. Cecil Frank Powell (1903-69) was the English physicist, born in Kent. He was professor of Physics at Bristol, director of the Wills Physics Laboratory, and is known for his work on the photography of nuclear processes. He was awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1950.
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