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SEAL Family History

This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is one of the patronymic forms of the surname Seal, which is a good example of that fascinating group of early English surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, and supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition. In this instance, the nickname was taken from the aquatic mammal, the seal, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "seolh", in Middle English "sele"; the nickname may have referred to the person's eyes, or perhaps to a plump or ungainly figure.
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