This surname of MIELE was a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Michael' popularly called Mighel, and often softened to Miell. It was a name borne by various minor biblical characters as well as by an archangel, the protector of Israel. In Christian times the name was regarded as the warrior archangel, conqueror of Satan, and the given name was correspondingly popular throughout Europe, especially in knightly and military families. The name is also spelt MIGHELL, MYHILL, MIGHILL, MIELL, MIALL, MYALL and MIEL. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but most of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. The earliest of the name on record appears to be MIGHELL Axendall and Marye Wall, who were married at St. Mary, Aldermary, London, in the year 1598, and Francis Bevis and Margaret MIGHELL were wed in London in 1626. Philip MIGHELL and Sarah Bolton were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1789.
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