This interesting surname, with variant spellings Arnet, Arnot, Arnott and Arnatt, is either a Scottish locational name from Arnot in the parish of Portmoak in Kinross-shire, deriving from the Gaelic "ornacht" meaning "barley", or from the Old French personal names "Arnaut, Ernaut, Hernaut", coming from the Old Germanic given names "Arnald, Arnold, Arnolt", meaning "eagle-power". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below), and further recordings include: Michael de Arnoth, who is mentioned as having possession of lands in 1284 (Memorials of the Browns of Fordell), and David Arnot of Fyfe, who rendered homage in 1296 (Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland preserved in the Public Record Office). Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Mary, daughter of Richard Arnett, on April 15th 1610, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and the christening of Mary, daughter of Jo Arnett, on June 26th 1642, at St. Giles' Cripplegate. One Catherine Arnett, aged 36 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Orizaba" bound for New York on June 10th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Arnoud, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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