This surname properly belongs to Elizabeth, with which it was interchangeable from the 12th until at least the 16th centuries. In France the name, often in the forms ISABELLE or ISABEAU, all but replaced Elizabeth. ISABELLA was the form adopted in Spain. The Old Alliance of Franch and Scotland against the English may helped ISABELL to became particularly popular in Scotland, where it developed many forms which include IB, IBBY, ISA, BELAG, TIB, TIBBIE and TIBBY. In Gaelic the name became ISEABEL, from the form ISHBEL, and this led to variants as EASABELL, EASYBELL and EYSIE. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Walter YSABELLE, who was recorded in County Oxford in the year 1273. and William ISABEL was documented in County Somerset during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Johannes ISSEBELL of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Later instances of the name include William ISABELLES, who was the rector of St. Augustine, Norwich in the year 1523, and Thomas Brickell, wed Ann ISBELL at St. Antholin, London in 1617. A notable member of the name was ISABELLA of CASTILLE (1451-1504) queen of Spain. The daughter of King John II of Castile and Leon, she succeeded her brother to the crown in 1474. In 1469 she married Ferdinand 'the Catholic' of Aragon, and became joint sovereign with him, his title being Ferdinand V of Aragon and Castile.
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