This unusual name is a variant of the personal name "Gerald", which was introduced into Britain by the Normans after the conquest of 1066. The personal name is Germanic in origin, from the old German elements "gan" or "geri" meaning "spear" and "wald", meaning "rule". The first recordings of the given name are contained in the Domesday Book of 1086, as "Geraldi", "Geroldi", "Giroldi" and "Girold". Gerald was popular as a personal name in England only until the beginning of the 14th century, but it has generated a wide variety of variants, ranging from "Gerold", "Garrould", "Garrod" and "Jarrold" to "Jarrott", "Jarrold" and "Fitzgearld", the latter form being the Norman, later Irish, patronymic (meaning "Son of").The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Geroud. which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire". during the reign of King John, know as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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