This interesting and uncommon name is of Norman, Old French origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. It is a locational surname, deriving from either "Fournival" in Oise or "Fourneville" in Calvados, both placenames being first recorded in the form "Furnivilla". The name derives from a Gallo-Roman personal name, "Furnus", of uncertain origin, or perhaps from the Latin "furnus", kiln, with the Old French "ville", settlement. At some later date the second element was replaced by the Old French "val", valley.An English family by the name of Furnival are said to have originated at Fourneville near Honfleur, Normandy, the Gerard de Furniualla ("u" for "v") below being one of the earliest members. He was at the siege of Acre in 1191, and was granted lands by King John (1199 - 1216) in 1200. Other early examples of the name, now found as Furnival(l) and Furnifall, include Thomas de Furnivall in the Yorkshire Hundred Rolls of 1273, and Johanna Furnyuall, in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns of 1379. Randolph Furnival married Susanna Dunster on May 10th 1691, at Allhallows, London Wall, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gerard de Furniualla, which was dated 1171, in "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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