This English, French, German and Flemish/Dutch surname was derived from the given Latin name PAULUS (small) a popular 11th and 12th century font name. This given name has always been popular in Christendom. It was the name adopted by the Pharisee Saul of Tarsus after his conversion to Christianity on the road to Damascus (ADc.34) He was a most energetic missionary to the gentiles in the Roman Empire, and perhaps played a more significant role than any other of Christ's followers in establishing Christianity as a major world religion. The name was borne also by numerous other early saints. The surname is also occasionally borne by Jews, although the reason for this is not clear. The name has numerous variant spellings which include PAULL, PAWLE, PAOLI, PAULEY, PALLEKE, POLLINS, PAVOLLILLO, PAWLIK, PAVEK, PASEK and PAULET, to name but a few. Saint PAULINUS of Nola (353-431) was the French prelate, born in Bordeaux. He accepted Christian baptism, and settled in Nola, Italy, where he became known for his charity and rigid asceticism. He was consecrated bishop of Nola (circa.409). Other notables of the name include Sir Amyas PAULET (or POULET) (circa. 1536-1588). He was the English courtier. He succeeded his father as governor of Jersey, was ambassador to France (1576-79) and was keeper of Mary, Queen of Scots from 1585 till her death in 1587. Royalty mentioned are names such as PAUL I (1901-64) the king of Greece from 1947 and PAUL (1754-1801) the emperor of Russia. Later records include Charles Kegan PAUL (1828-1902) an English author and publisher, born in Somerset, and a graduate from Oxford. Alice PAUL (1885-1977) was an American feminist and social reformer, born into a Quaker family in New Jersey. She founded the World Party for Equal Rights for Women in 1928. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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