Last name: Darrell

Recorded in various spellings including Darell, Darrel, Darrell, Dearl, Dearle, Derell, Derl, Durlle, and the more popular Durrell, this unusual surname is usually medieval English, but of Norman-French origins. It is locational from the place called "Airel" in the La Manche region of Normandy. The placename means "the courtyard", derived from the early Latin word "arealis", describing an open space and curiously is itself a derivative of the word "area", used in the original sense to mean a threshing floor. The surname is formed from by fusing the French preposition "de", meaning "of" to the place name of Airel. Presumably the surname was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of the country in 1066, and over the centuries the surname development has included Dearle in Norfolk in 1563, Darrell in London in 1580, Dearell in Hampshire in 1585, and many others. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Flora Durrell, a witness at St Johns Hackney, on November 11th 1623, the marriage of William Dearle to Ann Trafman at St. Mary le Bone, Marylebone, on May 20th 1677, and James Derl, the son of James and Maria Derl, who was christened at St Leonard's Shoreditch, on September 11th 1842. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Darell. This was dated 1206, at Sessay, in North Yorkshire, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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