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Noel Family History

Recorded in many spellings including Naul, Knells, Naull, Naulls, Noale, Noel, Noell, Nowell, and Nowill, this ancient surname is English but of French origins. It derives from the pre 10th century Old French word "noel" meaning Christmas, and was probably introduced by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion. It is a baptismal name or a medieval nickname for somebody born at the Christmas holiday. Similar surnames include Easter and Midwinter, although Michaelmass which certainly existed in the 15th century seems to have disappeared. Holidays in olden times were both rarer and usually shorter, and were associated with much more festivity than in the 20th century...

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