You will find several versions of the Attrill origins on the internet. Most of which are based on speculation and assumptions. I have concluded that there could be more than one origin of the name.
The most plausible theory is that the Isle of Wight Attrill is derived from a very small place called Rill on the Island. When surnames were first used they often referred to the place where that person lived such as John At Rill. There is no absolute proof of this but it does tie in with the locations, such as Billingham, Shorwell, Godshill etc. of the early Attrills.
Another theory, which has been passed down by families, is that John Trill was a French smuggler who married Johanna Trell and they changed their name to Attrill to change his identity. Once again there is no absolute proof but I think this adds a bit of intrigue to the name.
On a more serious note there is conclusive evidence from available records that the majority have their origins in the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom. More than 80% of living Attrills can trace their ancestry back to the Isle of Wight. Birth and marriage records show that the Isle of Wight name is derived from Trill. Tryll or Trell. There has been, and still are, variations in the spelling such as Atrill, Attril, Atrell Attrell etc.
The first recorded Baptism on the Isle of Wight was of Thomas Atrill son of Thomas Tryll or Trill in 1553. The first marriages were recorded in the late 1500 & early 1600s. For more information refer to the BDM tab on the navigation bar above.
The 1841 census, the first official population count, there were a total or 286 Attrills recorded, of which, there were 242 living on the Isle of Wight. That is about 85% of the Attrill population. In 1851 there were 284 Attrills living on the Island which was about 76% of the total Attrill population. This shows the steady migration from the Island. This trend continued throughout the years with Attrills migrating to all areas in Britain and eventually all parts of the world.