The surname of CONSOLI was a nickname for a wise or thoughtful man. The name was originally derived from the Anglo-Norman word COUNSEIL, meaning consultation, deliberation, advise. The name was originally rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CONSILIUM. 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. The name may also have been an occupational name for a member of a royal council or, more probably a manorial council. Early records of the name in England mention William COUNSAYL of County Somerset, who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). William COUNSEL of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. 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 garment worn over the armour.
Later instances of the name mention Henrie COUNCELL and Wynifritt Clark, who were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1609, and William COUNSELL and Mary Parsons were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1742.
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