This most interesting and intriguing surname is of Old Swedish and Low German/Dutch origin. In Sweden the name derives from the Swedish element "arende", tenancy, leasehold, which was a status name given to a tenant farmer. The name may also be a Low German/Dutch patronymic form of "Arnold", which itself derives from an Old German personal name composed of the elements "arn", eagle and "wald", rule. Early examples of the surname in Church Records of German states include: the marriage of Wind Arend and Iischen Caups on March 9th 1645, at Heiden Lippe, and the christening of Trine, daughter of Johan and Margreta Ahrens, on October 20th 1709, at Alt Bukow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The surname is also found in London Church Registers, where the christening of Joanna Sabina, daughter of Christopher and Joanna Ahrens, is recorded on September 18th 1765, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. Sigrid Gunilla Ahrens married Victor Axel Evald Roos on October 28th 1866, at Uppsala in Sweden. A Coat of Arms granted to an Ahrens family of Riga depicts on a gold field a male figure standing on a green base, with his right hand on his hip, holding in his left hand three green ears of corn. The figure is belted with a wreath of ivy. The Crest is three ears of corn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannis and Dorothea Arnt, which was dated August 6th, 1572, christening witnesses at Braunsberg, Ostereussen, Germany, during the reign of Maximilian 11, Holy Roman Emperor, 1564 - 1576. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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