Recorded in many spelling forms including Derrell, Durrell, Durwel, Derle, De Ruel, and D'Ruel, this interesting name is of Norman-French pre 10th century origins. Introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, it was originally a nickname for a hard man, or in this case the 'son of hard man'. The derivation is from the Olde French 'dur' meaning 'hardy'. The name was used to distinguish a man thought to be particularly steadfast and enduring, although in some cases the nickname may have been bestowed with a different motivation for a stubborn, obstinate individual. Interestingly the surname was reintroduced in the late 17th Century by French Huguenots refugees as 'De Ruel and Durel'. Examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the post medieval period include: Jane Durrell who married Philip Anley at the famous church of St. Katherine's by the Tower (of London) on the 9th August, 1689, on April 17th 1704, John-Phillipe Du Ruel, married Elinor Mayers at St Pauls church, Covent Garden, whilst on Christmas Day 1731, Jone Derual married Adam Housell at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Sir John Durwel, who appears in the Parliamentary Writs of the year 1377 in the reign of King Richard 11nd of England. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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