Recorded as Beal, Beale, and the patronymics Beals and Beales, this interesting English surname has two possible origins. The first is from the Norman-French 11th century nickname for a handsome man or an attractive woman. Introduced into England after the famous Conquest of the country in 1066, it derives from the French words bel or beal meaning fair or beautiful, and therefore the later surname could be from either form. We believe that the first known recording as shown below is from this source. The second possible origin which applies more in the North Country is locational, and from either of the two places called Beal in the counties of Northumberland and West Yorkshire. The former is first recorded as Behil, and means bee-hill, from the pre 7th Century 'beo-hyll', whilst the latter is first recorded as Begale in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, means "Land by the bend (of the River Aire)", from the English beag-halh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Bele. This was dated 1206, in the charters known as the Curia Rolls of the county of Essex, during the reign of King John, 1199 - 1216. 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.