This interesting and unusual name is of Norman (French) origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. As a surname the name can be either locational or topographical in origin, and in both cases derives from the Anglo-Norman French "isle, idle", island, from the Old French "isel", itself from the Latin "insula". As a topographical name, the surname denotes "the dweller in the isle", and as a locational surname, someone who came from a place called "the isle". Since the name derives from a Norman-French word, the island described is likely to haven been in Northern France, rather that anywhere in Britain.The surname development includes John del Ile (1275, Suffolk), and Ralph Iles (1560, Yorkshire). The modern surname can be found as Iles, Isles, Illes, Eyles, Idle, and Lisle. Joan Iles was christened at Bexley, in Kent, on August 6th 1587, and one William Iles married Sarah Kater on October 16th 1673, at Whaplode in Lincolnshire. One Henry Iles was an early emigrant to the New World colonies, leaving London in January 1634 bound for St. Christophers and the Barbadoes. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Baldwin de Ille, which was dated 1255, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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