This long-established surname is of Old French origin, and belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, and to habits of dress and behaviour. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Old French "blund, blond", fair, light-coloured, related to the Latin "blundus", yellow, with the diminutive suffix "-el", used to denote someone with blond hair or a fair complexion. "Blundel" was also used as a personal name, and is recorded without surname in the 1115 Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, while in 1203, Walterus filus (son of) Blundelli was noted in the Curia Regis Rolls of Lincolnshire. Early examples of the surname include: Geoffrey Blondel (Huntingdonshire, 1273), and Boneface Blondell, entered in the 1456 Oxford University Register. The name, with variant spellings Blondel and Blondelle, was re-introduced into England by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in their own country during the 16th and 17th Centuries: on March 5th 1693, Pierre Blondel was christened at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Blondell family is a shield divided per pale ermine and sable with a chevron counterchanged, the Crest being a dexter hand holding a battle-axe all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Blundel, which was dated circa 1140, in the "Chartulary of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Stephen, known as "County of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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