This surname WAKENELL was originally derived from the Old English Waecerhild. The name is also spelt Wacknell and Wakerell. Early records of the name mention Wakerilda (without surname) who appears in 1130 in County Norfolk, and Wekerild was recorded in 1185 in County Kent. Justinus filius Wakerild was recorded in 1229 in County Sussex. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
Other instances of the name include Agnes Wakerild, 1319 in Surrey, and William Whaykrylle who appears in the year 1374. The arms depicted here have been quartered with Wake and Nele, and both the associated coat of arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Surnames before the Norman Conquest of 1066 were rare in England having been brought by the Normans when William the Conqueror invaded the shores. The practice spread to Scotland and Ireland by the 12th century, and in Wales they appeared as late as the 16th century. Most surnames can be traced to one of four sources, locational, from the occupation of the original bearer, nicknames or simply font names based on the first name of the parent being given as the second name to their child.
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