This interesting surname is locational from a place called "Farndale" in the North Riding of Yorkshire, so called from the old English "dael", a valley, and the old English "fearn", a fern, written in place-names as Farn-, Fearn- and Fern-. The placename is recorded as "Farnedale" circa 1160 in the "Rievaulx Cartulary" and "Farendale", in 1207 in the Feet of Fines of Yorkshire. The surname itself, dates from the 14th Century (see below). The earliest recording of the surname in the church registers of Yorkshire, dates from October 29th 1564, at Campsall, Doncaster, Yorkshire, one William Farndell married Margaret Atkinson. On September 6th 1674 at Whitby, Yorkshire, Margarita, son of Johannis Farndale was christened. The earliest London recording for the surname dates from May 4th 1675, when a William Farringdell married Alice Crutch. In the south of England, "V", was regarded as the normal pronunciation of "F", thus "Varndell" is a dialectal variant of the surname. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Farnedale, which was dated 1363, "The Reigster of the Freemen of York", during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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