The surname of HOLWELL is of English origin, one who came from Haliwell (the holy spring) a place now extinct, in Middlesex. There are places in Lancashire, Dorset and Oxfordshire, from where the original bearer may have derived his name. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. Habitation names are derived from names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named places, which include rivers, houses with signs on them, regions, or whole counties. The original bearer of the name who stayed in his area might be known by the name of his farm, or the locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of that county or the region from which he originated. Early records of the name mention Osbert de Haliwell who appears in County Suffolk in 1200, and Robert Halwewoll was documented in the year 1275. Martin de Halgewelle was recorded in County Dorset in the same year. Editha atte Holywelle was mentioned in 1327 in County Somerset, and Edward Helliwell of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared). Edward I was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs, and Richard III was called 'Crouchback' owing to his deformed shoulder.
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