- Recorded in many forms as shown below, this interesting and uncommon name is of Olde English origins. It derives from the pre 7th century word "fugol", meaning a fowl or bird of prey, which perhaps surprisingly was also used as a personal name in those far off times some fifteen hundred years ago. The personal name appears in the Winton Rolls of the county of Hampshire in the year 1066, whilst the surname itself as shown below is 12th century. The medieval form of the word was as foul and fowle, and the surname from this time may in addition to having the personal name as an origin, have been a nickname. This would have been given to a person who in someway was thought by his friends and neighbours to resemble a bird! The modern surname from this source has a number of forms ranging from Gowle, Fowell, Fuggle, Voule and Vowell to the patronymics Fowls, Fowles, Voules, Vowles, Vowls, Vouls and Fuggles. Early examples of the surname recording include Nicholas le Fowel in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Worcestershire in 1275, whilst later the marriage of John Fowle and Judyth Lyndeth was recorded on September 6th 1579 at St. James's Clerkenwell, in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wuluard Fugel. This was dated 1166, in the Pipe Rolls of Kent, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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.