(This very potted history of the origins of the Graham-Yooll family was written by Richard Graham-Yooll.)
Though small in number, there are Graham-Yoolls living in Scotland, England, France, Argentina, Canada and the United States. Stories of the name's origin differ, but the commonly accepted version has been that it was created after the marriage of Helen, the divorced daughter of the 3rd Duke of Montrose, to a commoner early in the nineteenth century. What we know is that a James Yooll married a Helen Graham.
The Yoolls of Scotland spell their names in countless ways, Yule, Yuill and Zuill being among the more common versions. The original spelling may have been Zuill, supporting the view that they originated as a family of Dutch merchants settled in Scotland. A 17th century marriage record shows an Andrew Yooll, a merchant born in 1592, this may be the first of of our misspelled Yooll line.
In all likelihood that Andrew Yooll was the forebear of Andrew Yooll, the 18th century Scottish merchant who fathered, James Yooll, born in 1794 in Dumfriesshire, who married the mysterious Helen.
Their son Andrew Graham-Yooll, a manufacturing chemist and oil merchant born in 1820, was the first to use the hyphenated name. He was known as "a gentleman of varied and extensive attainments, both in science and art". (Read more about him on this historical website.) He had homes in England (Beaconsfield) and Scotland (Edinburgh). The family oil business is also mentioned in the book "Old Leith" by Guthrie Hutton: "Old Leith takes the reader on a magnificent stroll [through Old Leith]... Local businesses featured include W. Graham-Yooll oil merchants etcetera and Beruldsen's outfitters."
The diagram below illustrates the extended lineage from the foundations of our name, when Helen Graham and James Yooll married around the turn of the 19th century.