This surname was a locational name 'of Asthall' a spot in the County of Oxfordshire. Almost every city, town or village extant in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. While a man lived in a town or village he would not be known by its name, as that would be no means of identification - all in the village would be so named. But when a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or by the name of the land which he owned. Some had the name of a manor or village because they were lords of that place and owned it, but the majority descend from vassals of freeman who once had lived there. Early records of the name mention Richard de Asthull, who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Robertus Astull of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Hugh Astel was recorded as the vicar of Aylmerton in County Norfolk in the year 1371. Thomas, son of John Astill was baptised at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in the year 1722. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884 . Arms recorded at Everton, County Bedford, Huntingdonshire and London.
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