This very unusual English surname is almost certainly locational. Spelt in an amazing range of exotic dialectal forms including Antezell, Antesell, Anthiftle, Anthill, Anthisell and Anthistle, it has two possible origins. The first may be from a French Huguenot surname Anteville, first recorded in England on March 1st 1723, at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, in the city of London, when Abraham Anteville is so recorded. The second is English from either the village of Anthill in the county of Hampshire near to the small town of Havant, or possibly from Ampthill, a village in the county of Bedfordshire. Both places do mean 'ant hill'. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. Over the centuries local dialects being very thick, and spelling at best haphazard, has lead, particularly with locational surnames, to 'sounds like' spellings. The further one moved from some obscure place, the more likely it was the the subsequent name spelling would bear little relationship to the real thing. French names generally were usually given a spelling 'twist, and as 'ant hills' are not a normal feature of the English countryside, anything is possible there as well. In this case the name is reasonably well recorded in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London, with Classye Anthill being christened at St Margarets Westminster, on June 2nd 1588, Lucy Antezell marrying Richard Blandy at St Lukes Finsbury, on September 18th 1757, and Sarah Anthistle who was christened at St Mary-le-Bone, on September 27th 1807.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • anthill — /ant hil /, n. a mound of earth, leaves, etc., formed by a colony of ants in digging or constructing their underground nest. [1250 1300; ME amete hulle, ampte hille; see ANT, HILL] * * * …   Universalium

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