This is an occupational name deriving from the Olde French 'maresc(h)al' meaning 'marshal'. The term ultimately derives from the Olde High German 'marah', a horse, plus 'scalc', a servant, and was originally applied to a tender of horses. (A position of importance in royal and other households). The surname from this source is first recorded in the latter half of the 11th Century. Other early spellings of the surname have included - Marescald, (circa 1100) Mascherell (circa 1130) Maskerel (1166) he Marscal (1238) etc., later recordings include Francis Mascall (1636, Tottenham) Edmond Maskell (1730, Holborn, London) whilst in 1758 John Maskill was a witness at Manchester Cathedral on July 23rd of that year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Huge Maskercal, which was dated 1087, The County Rolls of Middlesex, during the reign of King William I, The Conqueror, 1066 - 1087. 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.