This surname ARNELL is a baptismal name 'the son of Arnold', a very popular personal name in England, practically forgotten now. There were also places of the name, a village in the parish of Riston, County York, and a parish in County Nottingham. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Ernold Rogerus filius Ernaldi who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Stephen Arnold of the County of Kent was recorded in the year 1273. Ayelina relicta Arnold of the County of Huntingdonshire in 1273. Walter Arnald was the rector or Thelton, County Norfolk in 1409. Warin Arnold of Norwich was recorded in 1486. John Arnold and Winifred Nelham were married London in 1611. Richard Jaggard and Eedy Arnald were married at St. Antholin, London in 1616. The acquisition of surnames in Europe has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another.
Thomas Arnold (1795-1842) was the Headmaster of Rugby, which he raised to the rank of a great public school. Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) was an English poet and critic of distinction, and the son of Thomas.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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