This unusual name is of English locational origin, from the place in Devonshire called "Shirwell". The placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Sirewelle", and by 1242 as "Shirewill". The name means "the clear spring", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word "scir", meaning "clear", or "bright" with "waell" or "well" a well, spring or stream. The name development in Devonshire has included "Cathern Shevill", (1613), "John Shirrell" (1627), "Elizabeth Sherel", (1683) and "Rebecca Shiril" (1787). William Sherrell, son of John and Mary was christened on the 1st September 1695 at Ugborough in Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Sherrill, married Joan Tucker, which was dated 16th May 1566, at Blackawton, Devonshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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.