The INSALL & all spelling variations
One Name Society's website

Origins of the SURNAMES

Someone might ask the question, why are we interested in so many names ? The answer is simple and is that until about the middle of the 19th Century the majority of the people were illiterate and had to rely on others to create any documents relating to them. This caused considerable variations depending upon how the scribe interpreted the spelling of the name pronounced to him by the individual or someone else. In my personal family the surname has certainly changed from INSOLE through INSOLL; to INSELL and INSALL in different branches of the same family since the mid 18th Century.


For many centuries the bulk of these surnames occurred in the Counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire or Gloucestershire according to calculations made from the International Genealogical Index's information relating to baptisms and marriages in many Parishes. Dr. Reaney in the Dictionary of English Surnames attributes the name to a lost hamlet INSOLL in the Parish of Elmley Lovett in Worcestershire. A Richard de Inneshal appears in the Lay Subsidy Roll of 1327 for that place. In a similar Roll for Gloucestershire several occurences of the surname INTHEHALE are listed and of personal interest in the Parish of Upper Slaughter this name may have varied to Insale by the 16th Century and from which some of our members families appear to have originated. In an adjoining Parish and many other parts of England after the Norman conquest the names de INSULA or d' LYLE occur and are mentioned in many documents of interest to genealogist. From what root a particular family's surname derives has in most cases I suspect been lost forever.