This is an English locational surname. It originates either from one of the localities called North Hill in the counties of Somerset, Cornwall, or Worcestershire, or from a now 'lost' medieval village, or as a varient spelling of another surname such as the relatively popular 'Northall'. Like most locational surnames it is a 'from' name. That is to say that it was a surname given to people after they left their original village, and moved elsewhere. This could be the next village or more likely it was the next major city.As the only city in England of any size before the 17th century was London, that was the mecca to which most people seeking work and shelter made as their destination. This in turn makes it very difficult and often impossible, to state with certainty the precise place of origin. Deriving from the pre 7th century Olde English 'Nor-hyl' the place name means 'the hill to the north', but may originally have described a settlement, which was perhaps used mainly for summer grazing. The first known recording of the surname in the church registers of England, may be that of Mary Northill, who married Thomas Price at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on May 19th 1703.
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