The surname of YARNOLD is chiefly a Worcestershire name and was an early corruption of the name Arnold. It was a baptismal name 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 earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came from in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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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