Origin of the English People and Language

Before tackling the origin of the place name and surname YOXALL, I thought it would be wise to have an understanding of English people and their language. For anyone wanting an introduction to the English Language, its dialects, its History and its peoples, Charles Barber’s book is highly recommended. His book The English Language, A Historical Introduction, states that the twelfth century and fifteenth century were periods of particularly rapid change in English. This makes it convenient to divide the history of the English language into three broad periods, which are usually called Old English, Middle English, and Modern English (or New English). No exact boundaries can be drawn, but Old English covers from the first Anglo Saxon settlements in England to about 1100, Middle English from about 1100 to about 1500, and Modern English from about 1500 to the present day.
For those readers who, like me, have forgotten much of the history they learned at school, a brief summary of the key events in Charles Barber’s book, from which I attribute most of these notes, may help explain why spellings have changed so much during the past 1500 years. Modern English comes from a group of Germanic peoples and their languages, including English, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Dutch.

It was not until the withdrawal of the Romans from Britain in AD 410 that our Germanic ancestors began to arrive in significant numbers. Throughout the fifth and sixth century, the struggle for Anglo Saxon supremacy over the Romano Celtic people was long and hard. By about 700, Anglo Saxons had occupied most of England and their language had become the dominant one. Those Britons that were left, a considerable number in fact, saw their language replaced by that of their conquerors.

Since England was conquered over a long period, by several Germanic tribes, this led to the different dialects we have today. Three Germanic tribes, the Saxons, Angles and Jutes were the main invaders. Despite their differing origins, their language and culture were similar, and they regarded themselves as one people. For example the word Engle ‘the Angles’ came to be applied to all the Germanic settlers in Britain, and the relative adjective Englisc was similarly applied these peoples and their language, not just the Angles.

Some modern English Counties still preserve their Germanic origins, Essex, Middlesex and Sussex were the realms of East, Middle and South Saxons, while Norfolk and Suffolk were the North and South folk of the East Angles.

Scandinavian Vikings had invaded Europe from 750 to 1050, at one point almost overrunning England. However it fell to King Alfred, in the ninth century to save the South and West from the Danes.  By the tenth century his successors had reconquered the North and East and in the second half of the tenth century Edgar ruled not only England but was recognised as overlord of Wales and Scotland. But it was not until the second half of the tenth century that unification of the country finally occurred. From this time, the unity of England was durable, whatever the nationality of the King. With unification brought the first measure of some standardisation of both written and spoken language, the West Saxon dialect becoming the standard during this period.

The Norman Conquest of 1066, whose rulers had originally been Scandinavian Vikings, had a profound influence on the English language. French became the language of the upper classes, because it was the language of the conquerors, and remained so for the next two hundred years. Anglo Saxons however already had a fine literature, back to the eight century and were by means culturally inferior to their conquerors. Though French was the language of the upper classes, English was still spoken by the majority, ‘lowe men’. For three centuries there was no single form of English recognised as a norm, and people wrote in the language of their own region. Early Middle English texts give the impression of many dialects without common conventions in pronunciation and spelling.  There were approximately six dialects of Middle English, whose boundaries, very roughly, divided the country into regions, Southern, South Eastern, West Midland, East Midland  and Northern (Northern English and Scots). Different dialects in these regions occurred because the main settlers originated from different countries. West Midlands for example was held by King Alfred for many years whilst East Midlands were held by the Danes.

It was the Norman Conquest that spelled the end of Old English, where the West Saxon dialect was gradually replaced by Norman scribes, who simply spelt the language as they heard it, using the conventions of Norman French. Mind you, quite how have arrived at the spellings we have today, if this was the intention, is a question for a more qualified person than myself. By the end of the Middle Ages the English language had triumphed over French and there was, once more, a standard form of written English, the start of  the Modern English we know today.

As for population, at the time of the Norman Conquest, the population of England was perhaps one and a half million. During the Middle Ages it grew to perhaps four million, but then was held down by recurrent plagues, and was still under five million by 1600. It was approaching six million in 1700, and nine million in 1800. Then, with the Industrial Revolution in full flow, the population expanded rapidly to seventeen million in 1850, and over thirty million by 1900. Rapid population rise may also go some way to explaining why language and spelling becoming increasingly standardised from 1700 onwards, and this probably lead to a similarly large rise in the literacy of the general population. In particular, the Industrial Revolution required more educated workers than the Agricultural Revolution, the former having to be able to read and write in order to maintain and run machines and factories, whereas the latter required little or no literacy.

The Domesday Book (1086, William the Conqueror) records the village as IOCHESHALE. Other medieval spellings include LOCHESHALE and LOCESHALL. Personal names include IOKESAL (1100, Henry I), YOXALL (1200, John I) and JOXALE/IOXALE (1321, Edward II). During medieval times, I’s, J’s and Y’s all read the same in manuscripts, yet both the village and the surname seem to have evolved naturally as YOXALL.  Quite why ‘Y’ and not ‘I’ or ‘J’ became the first letter is not yet known, though it is probably due to the evolution of what is referred to as Modern English.

Whilst I could grasp the elements ‘geoc’ and ‘halh’ that make up the name YOXALL, I had yet to understand the Domesday spellings such as Iocheshale and Iokeshale. Were these Scandinavian, Viking perhaps? I assumed by now that ‘Ioche’ and ‘Ioke’ had the same meaning as ‘geoc’.  Answers to most of these questions came in an email from Dr Paul Cavill, Principal Research Fellow, English Place-Name Society. ‘The spellings beginning with I’, he advised, ‘are simply variants.  Geoc is where we get ‘yoke’ from, and the ge- in Old English is pronounced y-; in Middle English i and y are interchangeable and pronounced the same way.  The scribes of Domesday Book had an alphabet which did not include k, and their way of representing this was ch, once again with the same pronunciation.  Later scribes used k for earlier Anglo-Norman ch, Anglo-Saxon c.  So the only thing that is changing in the name is the way the sounds are represented.’

This simple explanation just about covers all the various spelling variations of YOXALL occurred over the centuries. Still to be discovered was when the variations evolved. For example, when did the place name YOXALL become standardised as the spelling YOXALL? Who decided the current spelling, and why?

Once again, Paul offered a simple, and obvious, explanation how the spelling became standardised, ‘Basically, though, what is known as modern English came about after the introduction of printing in the 15th century, which started to standardise spelling, and became widespread in the 18th century when it became known as Standard English.  Shakespeare’s language is recognisably modern English, but he varied the spelling even of his own name, and it took another 200 years for the conventions of modern spelling and punctuation to become standard usage.  These things are discussed in text books on the history of the English language, but they tend to be technical. One thing I should say, though, is that nobody exactly ‘decided’ how YOXALL should be spelled.  There is a record from 1222 which spells it Yoxal  but variations continue long after that; it’s a matter of convention, really, and the more regularly a spelling occurs, the more likely it is to become the standard one.’

Charles Barber notes that the letter g was used in Old English to represent two different phonemes. On the one hand there was a /j/ phoneme, similar to the semi-vowel in Modern English yes, as in the words gear ‘year’, faeger ‘fair, caeg ‘key’, and geoc ‘yoke’……Often, the OE scribes did not distinguish in spelling between /g/ and /j/, but when ‘j/ occurred before a back vowel that tended to spell it ge, as in the word geoc already quoted; here the e probably does not indicate a dipthong, but is simply inserted to show the quality of the preceding consonant/ Alternatively, the spelling i could be used for/j/ in such positions, and in fact the word is also found with the spelling ioc.

It was, however, the introduction of printing that, more than anything else, standardised spelling. Maps, Documents, Records, Wills, etc were circulated throughout the country, whereas before printing, the original would only have been seen by local people, and read by even fewer! Printed copies allowed unknown words, places, surnames, to be copied as written, rather than recorded as the name sounded by those unfamiliar with the name.

There are few references to the place name YOXALL, and the origins cannot be agreed by the scholars who have studied the origins to date. General agreement is that the name comprises of two Old English (OE) word elements ‘geoc’ and ‘halh’. These elements are described in the book English Place Name Elements by A. H. Smith – English Place Name Society vol XXV, published by Cambridge University Press 1956,  book i, page 199, 223 & 224,  as follows:-

geoc – OE (i)  ‘a yoke, a wooden device for coupling two oxen or other beasts together for drawing a plough’ (ii) ‘a pair of oxen yoked together’ (iii) ‘a measure of land’ hence a small estate or manor (iv) ‘something resembling a yoke in appearance or use’. All these meanings occur in p.ns. a) Ickham K(ham), YOXALL St (halh) with the sense ‘yoke’ or ‘yoke of land’ Yoxford Sf (‘ford wide enough for a yoke of oxen’) Yokehurst Sx (hyrst) Yokewood nth (wudu, ‘a yoke of land’ or ‘from which wood for yokes was got’, Yokefleet Ess (fleet, ‘a creek coupling two pieces of water’) b) York Fm, Half Yoke K(‘a yoke of land’).

halh – (hale dat.sg., halas, healas nom.pl., halum, healum dat.pl.) OE (Angl), healh (healed at.sg.) (Kt, Wsax), ‘a nook, a corner of land, a water-meadow’.

(1) The general meaning of halh is ‘nook or corner of land’, as appears from the OE glosses, where it renders Lat angulus ‘angle, corner’ and is equated with hyrne (WW 326.9), or from Bede’s translation of halh in Streanaeschalch (YN 126) as Lat sinus ‘curve, a bay, a bend in the coast, a secret place’; it is even more generalised as ‘place’ in Symeon of Durham’s  Hearrahalch quod interpretari potest locus Dominorum (Mawer, Problems 43); cf. also the ME phrase dizele hale ‘a secluded nook’ (Owl and Nightingale 2). From the topography of many places, however, it appears to have developed certain particular meanings:

  • ‘a secluded hollow in a hill-side’, as at Birdsall YE, or ‘a small steep valley on the side of a larger one’, as at Halton YW, but most commonly ‘a remote narrow valley’, as at Halloughton Nt, this ebing the usual application in the Midl and SCy.
  • ‘a nook of land in the corner of a parish’, as at Hale in Hendon par. Mx, North Hills C, Rableyheath Hrt. In some cases it may well be used of a detached part of a parish or hundred, as in Dinsdale YN 279 (halh belonging to Deighton’, a detached part of Allerton Wapentake and separated from Deighton YN 209 to which parish it probably belonged); Kingsley Park Nth 8 is a detached part of the manor of Kingsthorpe Nth 133.
  • ‘a piece of land almost enclosed by the bend of a river’, as at Cromall, Heale W, Henshall, Rosall YW, or a ‘tongue of land between two streams’, as at Hallow Wo.
  • ‘a piece of low-lying land by a river, a haugh’, as at Edenhall Cu, Hallows La, Haughton L, a sense very common in the NCy (cf. NED s.v. haugh).

(2) The element is common in most parts of the country, though it is rare in some counties like Bd, Do, Nth, W, and also in Cu, YE, YN as compared with Du, Nb, La, YW. In D it is extremely common as a simplex p.n. but not in compounds. It is found sometimes in ME f.ns., as C 330, Ess 581, Mx 200, Nt 284, Nth 264, Sr 361, W 434, Wa 327.

(3) The usual variants when it is used as a first element are Hal-, Hallough-, Haugh-, etc. (from nom.sg. halh); as a simplex name Hallow, Haulgh from nom.sg. halhHale from dat.sg. hale; Heale from WSax da.sg. healeHales freom nom.pl. halas (mostly with ME lengthening in an open syllable); on the length of the vowel in OE obl. Cases of cf. walh 4. As a final element it usually appears as ME –hale (from dat.sg.), later –hall, -all (when it is confused with hall), occasionally –haulgh, -ough from nom.sg.

(4) (a) As a first element it is usually combined mainly with tun, as Hallaton Lei, Halloughton Nt, Halton Bk, La, L, YW, Haughton Ch, Du, La, et freq, Holton O, So, Houghton La, YW.

(b) As a simplex p.n., Haulgh La (nom.sg.); Hale Ch, Ha, K, L, et freq, Heal(e) D, W, Hele D (dat.sg.); Hales Nf, Sa, St, Wo (nom. pl.).

In compounds it is usually combined with (i) words denoting nearby objects, features, or other p.ns. etc., as Dinsdale YN (Deighton YN), Edenhall Cu (R.Eden), Panshill Bk ( a Brit p.n. Pencet), Scholar Green Ch (skali), Strethall Ess (straet), Wighill YW (wic); (ii) words denoting the nature of the ground, as Marshal Drove C (mersc), Sandal YW (sand), Stonal St (stan); (iii) adjs. Denoting position, shape, character of the ground, etc., as Calow Db (calu), Cromhall Gl, W (crumb), Northolt Mx (noro), Roall YW, Rownall St (ruh), Siddal La, Siddalls Nt (sid), Southall Mx (suo); (iv) the names of domestic animals, as Bullough La, (bula), Calverhall Sa (calf), Oxenhall Du, Gl, Oxnall Wo (oxa), Yen Hall C (ean); (v) the names of wild creatures as, Arnold Nt, YE (earn), Cattal W, Cattlegate Mx (catt), Finchale Du (finca), Frognal K (frogga), Midgehall W (micg), Owley K (ule), Wolf Hall W (wulf), Wrax(h)all Do, W Wroxall Wa, Wt, (wrocc); (vi) words for crops, etc., as Bannolds C, Beanhall Wo, (bean), Posenhall Sa Sa (pisen), Ryall Wo, Ryhall R (ryge), v. also gaers-halh; (vii) words for vegetation, as Bassenhally C (baest), Benthall Sa, (beonet), Bro(o)mhall Brk, Ch (brom), Nuthall Nt (hnutu), Rednall Wo (wreode), Ridihalgh La (hreodig), Saughall Ch (salh), Worrall YW (wir); (viii) pers.ns. very freq., as Bedale YN, Crossall Nt, Loversall YW, Markshall Nf, Tattersall L, Uckingham Wo, etc. [~holh, by ablaut.]

Researchers who mention the place name YOXALL in their books include:-

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names by E. Ekwall. Published by Oxford University Press, 1960

YOXALL St [Iocheshale DB, Yoxhal 1222 Ass, Iokeshale 1242 Fees] Yoxford Sf [Gokesford, Iokesfort DB, Jokeford 1203 Cur, Iokesford 1254 Val]. The first el. is OE geoc ‘yoke, yoke of oxen, a measure of land’. The second el. is HALH and FORD. The probable meaning of YOXFORD is ‘ford that could be passed by a yoken of oxen’, whilst that of YOXALL is not apparent.

Notes  DB = Doomsday Book. Fees = The Book of Fees Rolls ser 1920-31. Ass = Assize Rolls, Rolls of the Justice in Eyre for Glo/War/Staffs 1221-1222. Cur = Curia Regis Rolls. Val = the valuation of Norwich Ed. W. E. Lunt, Oxford 1926. OE = Old English.

A Topical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Published by S. Lewis & Co, London, 1848

YOXHALL (St Peter), a Parish in the union of LICHFIELD, N. division of the hundred of OFFLOW and of the county of STAFFORD, 7 ½ miles (N.N.E.) fro Lichfield; containing 1535 inhabitants, and comprising by measurement 4795 acres. It includes within its limits the hamlets of Hadley-End, one mile south west; Longcroft, ¾ of a mile east; Morry, one mile west; Olive-Green, one mile and a half west; and Woodhouses, about half a mile east, from the village of Yoxhall. The village is pleasantly situated on the road from Buxton to Bath, about a mile from the river Trent. The weaving of tape affords employment to 150 persons, many of whom are children. Fairs are help for cattle on the 12th of February and 19th of October. The living is a rectory, valued in the King’s books at £17. 6. 8., and in the gift of Lord Leigh: the tithes have been commuted for £290, and the glebe comprises 193 acres. The church exhibits various styles, from the Norman to the later English. There are a place of worship for Primitive Methodists, and a Roman Catholic Chapel; also a school founded in 1695 by Thomas Taylor, and endowed with various bequests producing about £20 per annum. The parish possesses about twenty four acres of town-lands, let for upwards of £50 a year., and which have regularly been applied by the parochial authorities, for the benefit of Yoxhall, for more than two centuries: there are likewise church lands comprising 10a. 3r. 2p. In levelling a piece of ground, about forty vessels containing ashes and human bones, were taken up, some years hence.

The Oxford Names Companion by Patrick Hanks & Flavia Hodges. Published by Oxford University Press, 2002.

YOXALL Staffs Iocheshale 1086 (DB) possibly ‘nook comprising a yoke or measure of land’. OE geoc + halh

English Place Names by A.D. Mills. Publisher Oxford University Press, 1993

YOXALL – Staffs, Iocheshale 1086 (DB). Possibly ‘nook comprising of a yoke or measure of land’. OE geoc + halh

DB = Domesday Book, OE = Old English

From all this information, my view is that the meaning of YOXALL is ‘an area of land (50/60 acres) that could be ploughed by a Yoke of Oxen’. It now seems reasonably clear, from the above explanations, how the current spelling evolved naturally from Old English, to Middle English to Modern English.

Publications recording origin

  1. A Dictionary of English Surnames by P.H. Reaney & R.M. Wilson. Publisher Routledge 1991

YOXALL, YOXHALL: Walter de Yoxhale 1272 FFSt; William Yokisall 1545 SRW. From YOXALL (St)

FF = Feet of fines, St = Staffordshire, SRW = Subsidy Rolls (WAR, WOR or WIL)

  1. English Place Names by A.D. Mills. Publisher Oxford University Press 1993

YOXALL – Staffs, Iocheshale 1086 (DB). Possibly ‘nook comprising of a yoke or measure of land’. OE geoc + halh

DB = Doomsday Book, OE = Old English

  1. The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames by Basil Cottle 2nd Edition 1978 published by Penguin Books

YOXALL L ‘Hough (halh)? The size of a yoke (of Oxen – fifty/sixty acres)’

Publications not recording origin

  1. A Dictionary of English Surnames by Patrick Hanks & Flavia Hodges. Publisher Oxford University Press 1989
  2. Dictionary of Surnames by Leslie Dunkling. Publisher Harper Collins 1998
  3. English Surnames by C.M. Matthews. Publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1966
  4. English Surnames by C.W. Bardsley. Publisher David & Charles 1969
  5. Dictionary of English & Welsh Surnames by C.W. Bardsley. Publisher Oxford University Press 1901
  6. The Origin of English Surnames by P. H. Reaney. Publisher Routledge 1967
  7. English Place Names and their origins by G.J. Copley. Publisher David & Charles 1971
  8. Understanding English Surnames by Sir William Addison 1978 published by B. T. Batsford, London

Known and recorded YOXALL name variations and transcription errors

Variations recorded to date are from Census, Parish Registers, IGI, Civil Registration, etc. and/or possible variations. Examples are shown below, but if anyone knows any other variation or transcription error then please let me know.  I do not believe YOUALL is a genuine YOXALL variation, it is more normally associated with people born at Yuletide. Some names have been recorded as YOUALL who are known to be YOXALL, so this spelling should not be dismissed, as it could be a wrongly transcribed or recorded surname.

One of the more difficult aspects of researching any surname is the number of spelling variations. As I have already explained, before literacy was widespread, surnames for key events such as Births, Marriages and Deaths, were primarily recorded by the clergy. Thus, depending where you lived in the 11th to 19th century, your name would have been recorded how it sounded to the clergy, who would record the surname in the dialect of the area. Likewise, many of those who left Wills were illiterate, so their name was likely to be recorded by a Solicitor or his Clerk. For example, according to a YOXALL researcher with Redditch, Worcestershire, roots, YOXALL would be pronounced ‘Yokshull’, whereas now it is pronounced as it is spelt, ‘Yox’ as in ‘ox’ or ‘box’ and then simply ‘all’ at the end, as in football.

As for the YOXALL surname, the spelling as ‘YOXALL’ has held very well across all counties on the 1881 census, comprising 87% of all YOXALL entries. Perhaps the most surprising, and worrying, problem of census surname variations are the errors caused during transcriptions and, having given up trying to transcribe some entries in various records, the errors are perfectly understandable, especially when the original surname could indeed look like transcription. All variations and transcriptions errors found to date are as a result of identification by myself and other researchers. Who for example would have thought YIRCHALL could actually be YOXALL? Only those related to, or tracing their family lines, would recognise the census entry was for their relative, due to their knowledge of the people, their ages, birth place, etc. Job knowledge is essential in finding elusive ancestors.

Further research shows that the more unusual spelling variations occur, as expected, before the 16th century. When Civil Registration was introduced in 1837, Registrars also became primarily responsible for births, marriages and deaths, though the clergy maintained their own Parish Records, for which we genealogists are immensely grateful.

Due to all the changes in recording names, the spelling of the YOXALL surname had become largely standardised by 1881. In order to help researchers of the YOXALL surname, below are examples of the different spellings and recordings which are believed to be YOXALL, from both original and transcribed sources, and where they have been found.

For simplicity I have divided these errors into two parts, the first which begin with the letter ‘Y’ and the second part is all those that do not begin with the letter ‘Y’. It is not definitive by any means but will hopefully give food for thought. If you look carefully at these examples it is fairly clear which are genuine YOXALL spelling or transcription variations and which are transcription errors. I have highlighted in red which I think are possibly genuine variations. As the surname is traced back in time, it can be seen that the number of variations increase.

YACKSALL Thomas, mentioned in 1825 Will of John White, Headless Cross, Worcester (Will)

YANHALL Sarah, b.c.1832, Salford, Lancashire (1851 cen)

YANXALL Mary A. b.c 1834, Congleton, Cheshire (1871 cen)

ARNALL Hannah, b.c.1861, Wilmslow, Cheshire (1911 cen)

YAXALL Mary, b.c.1813, Cheshire (1841 cen)
YAXALL John George, b.c.1840, Redditch, Worcestershire (1861 cen)
YAXALL William Henry, b.c. 1837, Redditch, Worcester (1881 cen)
YAXALL Grace, chr. 14 Apr 1884, Nantwich, Cheshire (IGI)
YAXALL George, marr. 7 Jul 1888, St Luke, Leek, Staffordshire (BRVI v2)

YAXULL Ann, b.c.1831, Stourbridge, Worcestershire (1851 cen)

YAXELL Joseph 64th Regiment Central Virginia USA (Muster Rolls)

YEOXELL John, marr. 14 Sep 1673, Holy Trinity, Stratford upon Avon, Warwick (IGI)

YERCALL Annie, b.c.1835, Baschurch, Shropshire (1901 cen)

YESCALL Grace, b.c.1884, Nantwich, Cheshire (1901 cen)

YEXALL Geo, b.c.1826, Cheshire (1841 cen)
YEXALL George, b.c.1804, St Lukes, Middlesex (1851 cen)
YEXALL Emma, b.c. 1861, Sandbach, Cheshire (1881 cen)

YEXELL Joseph 64th Regiment Central Virginia USA (Muster Rolls)

YIRCHALL Jane b.c. 1827, Burslem, Staffordshire (1881 cen)

YOAKSALL Elizabeth, chr. 22 Aug 1652, Nantwich, Cheshire (IGI)

YOBALL/YOXALL Thomas, b.c. 1845, Carnforth, Lancashire (1881 cen)


YOCHAM  Joseph, b.c.1867, Crewe, Cheshire (1891 cen)


YOCKSAILE Katherine, 1568, Norwich, widow 196 Ponder (Norwich – Index to Wills, Consistory Court of Norwich, 1550-1603)

YOCKSALL Anne, marr. 11 Mar 1628, Mitcham, Surrey (IGI)
YOCKSALL Nicholas, 25 March 1664, 1 Hearth, PRO ref: E 179/94/405 m.10r (1664 Appletree Hundred Hearth Tax)

YOCKSAYLE Thomas, 1557, Norwich, weaver 71 Hustings (Norwich – Index to Wills, Consistory Court of Norwich, 1550-1603)

YOCKSELL Eliza, chr. 28 Feb 1691, St Giles, Cripplegate, London (IGI)

YOEALL Henry, b.c.1798, Feckenham, Worcestershire (1861 cen)

YOESHALL John, b.c.1766, Worcestershire (1841 cen)

YOFALL Henry H, b.c.1835, Redditch, Worcestershire (1881 cen)

YOKELL Annie, b.c.1863, Coppenhall, Cheshire (1881 cen)

YOKESALL Saraye, chr. 10 Nov 1594, Donington-in-Holland, Lincoln (IGI)

YOKESHALL Elizabeth, b.c. 1839, Pendlebury, Lancashire (1881 cen)

YOKESILL George, chr. Apr 1607 Romford, Essex (IGI)

YOKESOULE Jonne, 26 Nov 1547, Saint Mary Le Bow, London (IGI)

YOKISALL William 1545 Subsidy Rolls War/Wor (Subsidy Rolls)

YOCKSALE Henry de – Patent Rolls Edward III vol 2 (web)

YOKSALL Ann, chr. 15 Feb 1612, Haselor, Warwick  (IGI)

YOCKSAYLE Thomas, Weaver of Northwich 1557 (web – Norfolk Record Office)

YOKSHALL George, b.c.1871, Gorton, Lancashire (1891 cen)

YONALL Richard, b.c.1800, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire (1851 cen)
YONALL Samuel, b.c.1800, Hagley, Worcestershire (1881 cen)
YONALL Joseph, b.c. 1868, Crewe, Cheshire (1901 cen)

YORACE Richard J, b.c.1822, St Lukes, Middlesex (1851 cen)

YORALL Annie, b.c.1868, Walsall, Staffordshire (1891 cen)
YORALL Mary E. C, b.c.1855, Butt Lane, Cheshire (1901 cen)

YORE ALL Edward, b.c.1845, Sproston, Cheshire (1891 cen)

YORKSHALL Thomas, marr. 4 Jan 1790, Stoke Prior, Worcester (Marriage register, Stoke Prior, 4th Jan 1790)

YORKSHELL Thomas, marr. 4 Jan 1790, Stoke Prior, Worcester (IGI)
YORKSHELL Samuel, b.c.1821 Bottalby, Cheshire (1851 cen)

YORKSHILL Thomas, b.c.1813, Cheshire (1851 cen)

YORKSHULL Elizabeth, b.c. 1838, Pendlebury, Lancashire (1891 cen)

YOSALL George, b.c.1816, Cheshire (1841 cen)
YOSALL Thos, b.c.1840, Redditch, Worcestershire (1861 cen)
YOSALL Henry S, b.c.1861, Redditch, Worcestershire (1901 cen)
YOSALL Ernest, b.c.1877, Wilmslow, Cheshire (1911 cen)

YOSCALL Peter, b.c.1830, Cheshire (1841 cen)
YOSCALL Charles, b.c.1853, Sproston, Cheshire (1851 cen)
YOSCALL Mary, b.c.1845, Sandbach, Cheshire (1861 cen)
YOSCALL James A, b.c.1876, Stalybridge, Cheshire (1881 cen)
YOSCALL Charles, b.c.1835, Redditch, Worcestershire (1891 cen)

YOSEALL Martha J, b.c.1873, Burnley, Lancashire (1891 cen)

YOTALL Richard, b.c.1827, Haslington, Cheshire (1871 cen)

YOTHALL Thomas, b.c.1845, Carnforth, Lancashire (1891 cen)

YOUCHSHALL Jane, South Claines, Worcestershire (1891 cen)

YOUXALL Thomas & Susannah Stanton 9th Feb 1854 (Marriage Certificate)

YOUXSHALL George, 70 Alexander St, Crewe, Cheshire (1881 cen)

YOXAL Joseph, b.c.1821 (1841 cen)
YOXAL Joseph, b.c.1809, Lees, Cheshire (1851 cen)
YOXAL Annie b.c.1893, Weaverham, Cheshire (1911 cen)
YOXAL James b.c. 1826, Middlewich, Cheshire (1881 cen)
YOXAL Abigail, chr. 19 May 1771 Feckenham, Worcester (IGI)

YOXALD Elizabeth, b.c.1894, Weaverham, Cheshire (1911 cen)

YOXALE Martha, b.c. 1860, Coppbriale, Cheshire(1881 cen)
YOXALE John, b.c.1811, Middlwich, Cheshire (1891 cen)
YOXALE Henry, chr. 23 Feb 1794, Feckenham, Worcester (IGI)
YOXALE George, marr. 5 Feb 1856, Alsager, Cheshire (BRVI v2)

YOXALL too many sources  to mention so just some examples
YOXALL William, b.c. 1810, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire (1881 cen)
YOXALL  Abed-Nego, chr. 30Jul, Feckenham, Worcester (IGI)
YOXALL Richard, marr. 29 Dec 1851, Wolstanton, Staffordshire (BRVI v2)

YOXALL OR YOUALL Mary, b.c. 1836, Dukinfield, Cheshire (1881 cen)

YOXCALL Richard, b.c.1827, Middlewich, Cheshire (1891 cen)

YOXEL Elizabeth Ann, chr. 1 Jul 1818, St Luke, Finsbury, London (IGI)

YOXELL James, b.c.1835, Feckenham, Worcestershire (1871 cen)
YOXELL Abigaile, marr. 21 Jul 1644 St Margaret, Westminster, London (IGI)
YOXELL Sarah, marr. 18 May 1829, Prestbury, Cheshire (BRVI v2)

YOXESALL Arthure, chr. 3 Sep 1574, Alvechurch, Worcester (IGI)

YOXHAL Frederick, b.c.1855, Church Coppenhall, Cheshire (1891 cen)
YOXHAL Richard, marr. 30 Jan 1743, Alveston, Warwick (IGI)

YOXHALL Solomon, b.c.1821, Warwickshire (1841 cen)
YOXHALL Martha, b.c.1835, Redditch, Worcestershire (1851 cen)
YOXHALL Eliza, b.c.1847, Wybunbury, Staffordshire, (1861 cen)
YOXHALL Margaret Jane, b.c.1841, Redditch, Worcestershire (1871 cen)
YOXHALL Thomas, b.c 1843, Crewe, Cheshire (1881 cen)
YOXHALL Samuel, b.c.1823, Church Coppenhall, Cheshire (1891 cen)
YOXHALL George H, b.c.1853, Manchester, Lancashire (1901 cen)
YOXHALL Alice, chr. 12 Feb 1792, Coppenhall, Cheshire (IGI)
YOXHALL Betty, chr. 6 Jun 1773, Grappenhall, Cheshire (BRVI v2)

YOXHALT Isaac, b.c.1841, Coppenhall, Cheshire (1861 cen)

YOXHELL Jane, chr. 12 Jul 1874, Hanbury, Worcester

YOXHILL Henrie, chr. 18 May 1595, Goxhill, Lincoln (IGI)

YOXHOLE Henry de Yoxhole, escheator of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, 17 Aug 1349 (Inquest at Chester library)
YOXHOLE Sarah, burial 5 Oct 1807 St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn, Lancashire (Parish burial record)

YOXILL Robert, marr. 20 May 1690, New Sleaford, Lincoln (IGI)

YOXOLD Agnis, chr. 1 Jul 1576, Welford-On- Avon, Gloucester (IGI)

YOXOLE John, 17 Mar 1571, Welford-On-Avon, Gloucester  (IGI)

YOXOLL Peter, b.c.1776, Cheshire (1841 cen)
YOXOLL Ann, chr. 8 Oct 1659, Feckenham, Worcester (Parish reg.)

YOXRALL Edward, chr. 31 Jul 1825, Feckenham, Worcester (Parish reg.)

YOXSALE Robert, chr. Nov 1611, Romford, Essex (IGI)

YOXSALL Alice, marr. 22 May 1665, St Oswald, Ashbourne, Derby (IGI)
YOXSALL Nickolas, marr. 18 Oct 1862, St Oswald, Ashbourne, Derbyshire                 (BRVI v2)

YOXSHALL Mary, b.c.1871, Cheshire (1841 cen)
YOXSHALL Peter, b.c. 1856, Crewe, Cheshire (1881 cen)
YOXSHALL Isaac, b.c.1841, Crewe, Cheshire (1891 cen)
YOXSHALL Tom, b.c.1877, Longsight, Lancashire (1901 cen)
YOXSHALL Tom, b.c.1878, Hulme, Lancashire (1911 cen)
YOXSHALL Ann, marr. 24 Feb 1717, Alderminster, Worcester (IGI)
YOXSHALL Dorothe, marr. Jan 1638, St Oswald, Asbourne, Derbshire (BRVI v2)

YOXSHULL Ann, marr. 24 Feb 1717, Alderminster, Worcester (IGI)

YOXTTALE Louis, b.c.1866, St Luke, Middlesex (1871 cen)

YOXWELL Elizabeth Barbara, chr. 20 Aug 1767, Lying in Hospital Endell St. Holborn, London (IGI)

Transcription and other errors

 The above examples are only part of the problem in finding your YOXALL ancestors. A huge increase in online genealogical data has led to yet another problem, transcription errors. To be fair, the accuracy of transcriptions I have read is extremely good in view of the age of many of the records and the difficulty in reading the many handwriting styles. Some examples of simple and extreme transcription errors may illustrate the difficulties faced by transcribers. These examples are all from Ancestry census transcriptions and have been proven as YOXALL people. Ancestry are aware of many of the errors so some may be corrected by the time this is read.


??TAEL Thomas, b.c.1857, Redditch, Worcestershire (1901 cen)

APXALL Thomas, b.c.1866, Middlewich, Cheshire (1911 cen)

CORALL Catherine, b.c.1841, Nantwich, Cheshire (1911 cen)

COXALL Richard, b.c.1771, Cheshire (1841 cen)
COXALL Thomas b.c.1896, Cheshire (1841 cen)

EDWARD Samuel b.c.1863, Crewe, Cheshire (1891 cen)
This example is included because the actual census image is YOXALL but was transcribed as EDWARDS in error, a possibility to consider when all else fails.

ESOXALL James, b.c.1844, Congleton, Cheshire (1901 cen)

FOXALL Solomon, b.c.1822, Feckenham, Worcestershire (1861 cen)
FOXALL Samuel, b.c.1858, Buglawton, Cheshire (1871 cen)
FOXALL Henry, b.c.1836, Feckenham, Worcestershire (1881 cen)

FOXHALL Thomas b.c.1885, Liverpool, Lancashire (1891 cen)

GACALL Martha, b.c.1846, Charlton, Cheshire (1911 cen)

GAXALL Henry, b.c.1796, Worcestershire (1841 cen)
GAXALL Sarah, b.c. 1832, Madely, Staffordshire (1881 cen)
GAXALL/GOXAL Richard, b.c. 1827, Haslington, Cheshire (1881 cen)

GERACE John Thomas, b.c.1875, Wilmslow Cheshire (1901 cen)

GNALL Edward Sam, b.c.1828, St Luke, Middlesex (1871 cen)

GOMOLL Peter, b.c.1807, Nantwich, Cheshire (1871 cen)

GORCALL George, b.c.1844, Cranage, Cheshire (1901 cen)

GOSALL Henry H, b.c.1835, Redditch, Worcestershire (1871 cen)

GOSCHALL Lucy E, b.c.1866, Sutton Coldfield (1901 cen)

GOTSHALL John, b.c.1806, Worcestershire (1841 cen)

GOXALL Richard, b.c.1801, Worcestershire (1841 cen)
GOXALL William, b.c.1834, Redditch, Worcestershire (1851 cen)
GOXALL Thomas, b.c.1835, Morton, Cheshire (1871 cen)

GOXHALL John, b.c.1806, Redditch, Worcestershire (1851 cen)
GOXHALL Alice, b.c.1871, Ashton, Lancashire (1881 cen)

GREEN James, b.c.1861, Swinton, Lancashire (1901 cen)
This example has been included because although the surname is recorded and transcribed as GREEN it is actually YOXALL. It is possible James was absent on census night and his wife Sarah GREEN gave the details to the enumerator, accidentally giving GREEN as the family surname. Another point to consider for elusive people.

HALL George James, b.c.1866, Crewe, Cheshire (1881 cen)
The actual image is YOUXSHALL not HALL as transcribed

JAKSHULL John, b.c.1806, Crewe, Cheshire (1871 cen)

JARRELL John Thos, b.c.1862, Selly Oak, Worcestershire (1901 cen)

JOKSHALL George, b.c.1870, Gorton, Lancashire (1871 cen)

JONALL Samuel, b.c.1865, Congleton, Cheshire (1901 cen)
JONALL Peter b.c.1867, Burslem, Staffordshire (1901 cen)

JOSALL Fanny, b.c.1846, Bolton le Sands, Lancashire (1861 cen)

JOXALL Henry, b.c.1817, Headless Cross, Worcestershire (1871 cen)
JOXALL John, b.c.1835, Willaston, Cheshire (1901 cen)

LORDALL Richard, b.c.1834, Minshull Vernon, Cheshire (1871 cen)

LOVALL Frederick, b.c.1825, Middlewich, Cheshire (1871 cen)

LOXALL Samuel, b.c.1823, Minshull Vernon, Cheshire (1881 cen)
LOXALL Henry S, b.c.1861 Redditch, Worcestershire (1891 cen)
LOXALL Ernest, b.c.1881, Liverpool, Lancashire (1901 cen)

OXAL Rebecca, b.c.1846, Exhall, Warwickshire (1891 cen)

PERSHALL Herbert, b.c.1855, Castleton, Lancashire (1871 cen)

SOPALL William Ewart, b.c.1889, Rochester, Kent (1901 cen)

SOSCHALL Margaret Ellen, b.c.1853, Wharton, Cheshire (1861 cen)

SOXALL Thomas, b.c.1837, Cheshire (1841 cen)

TOSCALL Henry S, b.c.1861, Redditch, Worcestershire (1881 cen)
TOSCALL Walter, b.c.1842, Studley, Warwickshire (1901 cen)

TOSCHALL Isaac, b.c.1838, Church Coppenhall, Cheshire (1901 cen)

TOXALL        ,
TOXALL George, b.c 1822, Leighton, Cheshire (1881 cen)

ZIGALE Hannah, b.c.1831, Cheshire (1841 cen)

ZORALL Thomas F, b.c.1836, Redditch, Worcestershire (1891 cen)

ZOXAL Edwin, b.c.1853, Studley, Warwickshire (1891 cen)

ZOXALL Margaret, b.c.1892, Treharris, Glamorgan (1911 cen)


Hard to find YOXALL Ancestors – worst case scenarios
Perhaps the worst case I have come across is a series of census on Ancestry which record the surname for Isaac YOXALL, born 1840, Warmingham, which illustrate just how hard it can be to track down that elusive ancestor.
1841 Census – Isaac YOXALL
1851 Census – Isaac YORKSHILL
1861 Census – Isaac YOXHALT
1871 Census – No trace of Isaac by spelling variation or transcription error
1881 Census – Isaac YOXSHALL
1891 Census – Isaac YOXSHALL
1901 Census – Isaac TOSCHALL

Patience and persistence are therefore two priceless virtues for genealogists, though a good dose of lateral thinking is also a big help


Patience and persistence are therefore two priceless virtues for genealogists, though a good dose of lateral thinking is also a big help