There are two possible origins for this medieval surname. The first is English locational, being a slightly reduced form of the Suffolk village "Bardwell" which itself derives from the Olde English "bearda-waella" meaning the spring on the bank or possibly "the spring of the bearded one!". It is likely that most modern name holders descend from this source probably as a result of the village being "cleared" Circa 1500 and the inhabitants driven off, to facilitate agricultural development, specifically sheep farming which required many fewer workers. The second possibility is French, a derivation of the name "Bardel", itself a diminutive form of Bard ie. Little Bard or Son of Bard. "Bard" was an occupational nickname given to a local poet or singer. It is known that the Huguenot refugees of the 17th and 18th centuries included "Bardels". David Bardel being a witness at the Artillery French Church, Spitalfields on May 12th 1703. Other recordings include Elizabeth Bardil at St. Mary le Bone on September 1st 1683 and Thomas Bardill, also at St. Mary le Bone on January 5th 1858. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbertus Bardol, which was dated 1261, in the Calendarium Genealogicum Register, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman" 1216 - 1272. 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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