This surname of HUGEL was a German locational name for a dweller on a hill, or near a mound. It was also a baptismal name 'the son of Hugo' the German form of Hugh. The name is also spelt HEUGEL and HUEGELL. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. It was a popular given name among the Normans in England, partly due to the fame of St. Hugh of Lincoln (1140-1200) who was born in Burgundy and who established the first Carthusian monastery in England. The name was also used in honour of St. Hugh of Cluny (1024-1109). In Scotland the name has been widely used as an equivalent of the Celtic Aodh meaning 'Fire'. The French Romantic novelist Victor Hugo (1802-85) was the grandson of a carpenter born in Nancy. The name is common in this form in Lorraine. Hugo himself claims descent from illustrious forebears of this name, such as Pierre-Antoine Hugo, born in 1532, who was Privy Counsellor to the Grand Duke of Lorraine, and a Louis Hugo who was a bishop. Christiaan Huygens (1629-95) who first formulated the wave theory of light, was a member of a prominent Dutch family; his grandfather, father and brother were all in the service of the Dutch royal family. His father Constantin (1596-1687) was an equally distinguished 17th century classical Dutch scholar, and knighted by James I. A notable member of the name was Baron Friedrich von HUGEL (1852-1925) the Austrian born, British theologian and biblical critic, born in Florence, the son of the Austrian ambassador. He settled in England in 1871. The Founder of the London Society for the Study of Religion (1905), he wrote 'The Mystical Element in Religion' (1908-09), 'Eternal Life' (1912) and 'The Reality of God' (published posthumously in 1931).
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