The surname of QUANTRELL comes from the Old French - chanterelle - meaning 'small bell' one who rang the church bell. It was also a nickname for one who was a 'beau, a fop'. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Ailric Cointerell, 1176, County Kent, Richard Queynterel was documented in County Cambridgeshire in the year 1273. Adam le Coynterell was recorded in 1281 in London. Robertus Quintrell was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Gregory Queyntrill, Norfolk, 1446. John Queyntrell, vicar of Ormsby, Norfolk, 1473. The name has many variant spellings which include Quantrell, Quarntrill and Quintrill. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but most of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.
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