Recorded in several forms including Bonsal, Bonsall, and the dialectal Bansal or Bansall, th is an English surname. It is locational from the village of Bonsall, near the small town of Matlock in the county of Derbyshire. The name is Norse-Viking, pre 10th century and translates as 'Beorns-halh' with 'Beorn' being a personal name meaning 'Hero' and 'halh,' a piece of cultivated land - in other words a small farm. Locational names were originally given either to the local Lord of the Manor or as a means of identification to those who left their place of birth to seek work elsewhere. The original landowners seem to have gravitated to Wales at some point, the surname being recorded heraldically in the Welsh towns, of Aberystwith and LLanrin, near Montgomery. The coat of arms has the blazon of a silver field, an rmine border, charged with three chrystals on a red fesse. A recording of the surname taken from a surviving church register is that of Thomas Bonsall, and dated June 1st 1799, at Aberystwith. This was during the reign of King George 111rd of England, known as 'Farmer George', 1760 - 1820. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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