Recorded as Beadnall, Bednall, Bednell and probably others, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Beadnall, in Northumberland. The original spelling of this village recorded in the Pipe Rolls of the county in 1161 was 'Bedehal' and in 1177, 'Bedenhala'. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century 'Beda', a personal name of unknown origin, and 'halh', which in this case means a corner of land formed by a bend in a river. During the Middle Ages when it was becoming common for people to migrate from their birth place, to seek work for example and they often adopted the placename as a means of identification. An early christening recording in the register of All Saints church, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 22nd July 1654 is that of John Beadnall, the son of William Beadnall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of John Bednell. This was dated December 1st 1574, at Berwick upon Tweed, and during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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