This name is of northern English locational origin from an estate in the parish of Kirkham, Lancashire, so called from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "thrall", a serf, plus "fall", a clearing, i.e., a place where trees had been felled; hence, "clearing of the serfs". The surname was first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below). It is particularly well recorded in Church Registers of Kirham from the mid 16th Century: on June 18th 1541, Ellen Threlfall and John Robinson were married in that parish, and on April 19th 1551, Elizabeth, daughter of William Threlfall, was christened there. In 1591, Edmund Threlfall, of Threfall (yeoman), was entered in the Lancashire Wills Records at Richmond, and in 1630, George Threlfall, of Goosnargh (husband man) appeared in the same records. On August 2nd 1713, John Threlfall, an infant, was christened in St. Sepulchre's Church, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Threliffal, which was dated 1246, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "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.