This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place so called in Staffordshire, which was recorded as "Badegenhall" in 1273, in the Assize Rolls. The placename is composed of the Olde English personal name "Badeca, Baduca", from a short form of the various compound names with the first element "beadu", battle, and the Olde English "halh", nook, recess. Variants of the name in the modern idiom include Bagnell, Bagenal and Bagnold. The surname first appears in the late 13th Century (see below), while John Bagenelle appears in the 1379 "Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London", and Ralph Bagnall is recorded in the Patent Rolls in 1561.An Irish family by the name Bagenal can be traced to Sir Richard Bagenal (circa 1586), who fled from England in 1539 after he had killed a man in a brawl. He was later pardoned and his descendants rose to prominence, mainly through marriage into some of Ireland's leading families. They gave their name to Bagenalstown in Co. Carlow. John Bagnall, an early settler in the Barbadoes, was granted a ticket to leave for Jamaica, on the "Rutter", on April 4th 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Bagenholt, which was dated 1299, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire", 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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