This interesting name derives from the Olde French 'fouille' meaning 'excavation'. Consequently, 'Foyle' may be interpreted as 'one who resides by the pit'. As a placename 'Foyle' is found as 'Foyle Farm' in Oxted (Surrey) and it occurs in Ireland, the Ulster Lough - Lough Foyle. In the 14th Century it occurs as the surname Foyle and Foyll in early Dublin city records and in the 19th Century there are fourteen Foyle householders recorded in Griffith's Valuation for that County (1855). The name O'Foyle occurs once in the Co. Antrim Hearth Money Rolls of 1664. Though apparently Irish, the name may be an Anglicized variant of O'Friel. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Foyle. which was dated 1249 - Assize Rolls, Wiltshire. during the reign of Henry 111 1216 - 1272 Nickname - The Frenchman. 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.