This unusual name is the anglicised version of 'Arnan', one of the French forms of the personal name 'Arnold', and was brought to England during the late 17th Century by French Huguenot refugees. During the late 16th Century and again at the end of the 17th Century a great many French and Flemish protestants (Huguenots) fled to England, America and South Africa to escape the religious persecution of Catholic Europe. The name 'Arnold' was itself introduced into England by the Normans, and is composed of the Germanic elements 'arn', meaning 'eagle', and 'wald', meaning 'rule'. It is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Ernold' and 'Ernald'. The marriage of Mary Arno and Joseph Long was recorded at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, on the 26th July 1732. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Catherine Arno, which was dated 19th April 1696, Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church, London, during the reign of King William and Queen Mary of England, 1689 - 1702. 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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