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Hall Family History
This ancient surname generally considered to be Anglo-Scottish, has several possible sources. These are that it may be a topographical name for someone who lived at or near a large house called a Hall, or that it could be an occupational name for a person who was employed at such a place. In this case the derivation can be either from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "heall", or the Old German and later Anglo-Saxon "halla", or even the Old Norse-Viking "holl". All have the same meaning of a large house or building. However it can also be a locational surname from any of the places called Hall...
Hall (Variants: Halle, Halls, All, Alle) English locative name, occupational name for someone who lived or worked at a hall, occupational name for a servant employed at a hall, from Middle English hall(e) and Old English heall. Middle High German halle, Old Norse holl, all meaning ‘hall’ referring to ‘a spacious residence’, an occupational name. The English name has also been established in Ireland since the Middle Ages.
In some cases it may be a habitational name from places named with this word, which in some parts of Germany and Austria from the Middle Ages also denoted as salt mine in Austrian county of Tyrol.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Warin de Hall, dated 1178 in the "Pipe Rolls" of the county of Essex, during the reign of King Henry II of England (1154 – 1189). Early example of the surname further north includes William de Hall, who held lands in Irvine, Scotland in 1426.
Another early bearer was John Hall, who was born in Kent in 1584 and emigrated to New England in 1632. He founded a notable American family, as his descendants included Stanley Hall, a pioneer in psychophysics and an early astronomer, Asaph Hall. Lyman Hall, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 was also a descendant.
In 1881, the frequency of the surname in Kent was 2,190 with a top occurrence of 32 in the Queenborough district of Kent. In 1891, the general population was widespread across England and Wales with a frequency of 90,538 with a further 3,826 residing in Scotland.
The top reported jobs worked by Hall in the UK in 1881 were Coal Miner, Farmer and Agricultural Labourer. The most common Hall occupation in the UK was Coal Miner and a less common occupation was Labourer.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Kent
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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