- A locational name which is either a transposition from the Olde English 'Caerse - Waella' meaning the 'water cress stream' or it is a name derived from a now 'lost' place which may have been 'Gris - Waella' - the grey haired person living by a stream. This latter explanation is possible as there is a recording of a T.D. Grissell of Norway Park, Surrey who died in 1863. However, our research and experience strongly points to the derivation being a form of Caese-Waella. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Kereswell. which was dated 1212, The Kings Rolls of Oxford. during the reign of King John, Nicknamed, Lackland, 1299 - 1216. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.