This surname HORRELL was a baptismal name 'the son of Harold'. The name was derived from the Old Norman name HEREWARD, and meant army-power. Harold I Knutsson 'Harefoot' who died in 1040 was the king of England from 1037. He was the younger son of Knut Sveinsson (Canute the Great) and his English mistress Aelgifu of Northampton. On Knut's death the English elected Harold Harefoot regent. In 1037 Harold was elected king, but died in 1040. This Scandinavian name is very common in the Domesday Book of 1086, but usually referring to King Harold. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday book. Other records of the name mention Ralph Harold of the County of Yorkshire in 1171 and Philip Harald was documented in 1327, County Sussex. Gacobus Harrell of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and David Harwald was recorded in County Lancashire in 1440. There is also a place 'Harrold' a market town and parish eight miles from Bedfordshire, from where original bearers of the name may have derived their name. 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. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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