This interesting surname with variant spellings Trowsdell, Trosdell, Trowsdale, Trowsdayle, etc., is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The placename Trowsdale is composed of the Olde English "treo(w)" meaning "tree" plus "dael" "valley", hence "the valley of trees". The surname dates back to the late 16th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Jane, daughter of William Trowsdayle, who was christened on May 23rd 1595 at Greenhow Hill, Ingleby, Yorkshire, and Ralph Trowsdale married Beatrice Wood on January 28th 1609 also in Greenhow Hill. One John Trousdell married Ann Quint on January 12th 1712 at St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jo. Trousdale which was dated 1585, at Pickhill with Roxby, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 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.