This interesting name is of Norman (French) origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and derives from a nickname for a 'hardy' man, 'durel(l)', a diminutive form of the Olde French 'dur' meaning 'hard(y)'. 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, 'Durel'. The modern surname can be found as 'Durrel(l)' and 'Durel'. The marriage of Jane Durrell and Philip Anley was recorded at St. Katherine's by the Tower, London on the 9th August, 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Durell, christened, which was dated 4th January 1542, St. Mary's, Aldermary, London, during the reign of King Henry VIII, Bluff King Hal, 1509 - 1547. 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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