Recorded in a number of spellings including Trowel, Trowell, Trowl, Trowle, Trowill, Trouel, and probably others, this is an English surname. It is not occupational and has nothing to do with the use of building or gardening implements. In fact it is locational from either a village called Trowell, near the city of Nottingham, or Trowle, a hamlet in the parish of Great Bradford, in the county of Wiltshire. In both cases the meaning of the name would seem to be the same. This is from the pre 7th century Olde English words "treow" meaning a tree, and "halh" a place. Whilst it appears to mean the place of the trees, although this is possible, it is more likely that it is used in a transferred sense to describe a bridge or road made of tree trunks. We do know that road making using trees and branches locked together was practised quite widely in ancient times, particularly when crossing marshes and other undrained areas. Locational surnames are also "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original village to move somewhere else. Spelling being at best primitive, soon lead to the development of "sounds like" forms. The first recording is believed to be from the county of Lincolnshire when Richard de Trawell appears in the Hundred Rolls of that region, whilst Batin de Trowell is recorded a year later but in Wiltshire. Antony Trowill is recorded in the a surviving early register for the diocese of Greater London, when he was a witness on July 17th 1636, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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