This name derives from either "Arnkell" or "Arkil", Old Norse personal names deriving from the disparate elements "arn", an eagle, plus "ketil", a helmet or helmeted warrior. The forename "Arnketel" (without surname) is first recorded in the 1019 Records of the Abbey of Ramsey, Norfolk. In the Domesday Book of 1086 the name appears in three variant forms, "Archetel, Archel" and "Archi". The surname from this source emerges in the mid 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include: William Arkel, recorded in the 1331 Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire, and John Arcle, listed in the 1455 Register of the Freemen of the City of York. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Henry Arkell and Agnes Adams on October 19th 1679, at St. Katherine by the Tower, and the christening of James, son of Peter and Jone Arkell, at St. Botolph without Aldgate, on June 12th 1704. In the modern idiom, the name is spelt Arkell, Arkil, Arkill, Arkle, Arckoll and Arkcoll. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Arkill, which was dated 1256, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Northumberland", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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