This intriguing and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Old German male given name "Ercanbald", a compound of the Germanic elements "ercan", genuine, true, and "bald", bold. St. Erkenwald, bishop of London in the 7th Century, bore a corresponding Olde English name, popular in the East Anglian royal family of which he was a member. He died in 693, and at a later date was referred to as St. Archibald. The forms "Arcebaldus" and "Arcenbaldus" found in the Domesday Book of 1086, and influenced by the supposed analogy with Greek names in "Archi-", were introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and became especially popular in the North, and in Scotland, giving rise to such surnames as Archbault, Archbalt, Archbell, Archbold, Ashbold and Ashbolt, early examples of which include: Robert Archenbold (Gloucestershire, 1210); William Erchebaud (Suffolk, 1239); Thomas Herchebaud (Yorkshire, 1302); and Robert Archebalde (Roxburgh, Scotland, 1390). On April 4th 1602, Jane, daughter of William Ashboold, was christened at St. Peter's, Cornhill, London, and on September 29th 1669, the marriage of Thomas Ashbolt to Elizabeth Parkes took place at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Ashbold, which was dated October 27th 1588, christening witness at St. Peter's, Cornhill, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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