This interesting surname of Anglo-Norman origin is a locational name from Bouelles in Seine Maritme, deriving from the Old Norman French "boelle" meaning "enclosure or dwelling". It may also be of Welsh origin from the patronymic of the given name Howell, (with fusion of the patronymic element ap, ab), itself coming from the personal name Hywel meaning "the Eminent one", popular since the Middle Ages in honour of the great 10th Century law giving Welsh king. The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Henry le Bowel (1273), "The Hundred Rolls of Kent", and Walter de Bowell (1275) "The Hundred Rolls of Hertfordshire". London church recordings include Rooffe Bowell who was christened on February 24th 1555, at St. Antholin, Budge Row, Thomas Bowell married Katheryn Webbe on October 29th 1569, at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, and Elyzabethe, daughter of Thomas Bowell, was christened on July 16th 1570, also at St. Stephens, Coleman Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Bueles, which was dated 1249, The Feet of Fines of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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.