The surname of ARUNDEL was a locational name 'of Arundel' a parish in the diocese of Chichester, County Sussex, ten miles from Chichester. This is the seat of the Duke of Norfolk, which perhaps gets its name from the Old English word HARHUNE, literally meaning the dweller in the valley. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Early records of the name mention John Arundel, documented in County Somerset, in the year 1273. Gilbert de Arundel, rector of East Wrotham, County Norfolk in 1321. William Arundel married Ann Barnes at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1765. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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