Recorded in many spellings including Gral, Graal, Grahl, Grahla, Krahl, Gralla, Grahlman and Graalman, this is a Dutch-German surname, and one which is normally job descriptive. It describes a maker (or merchant ) of "graals" or drinking bowls, the word being a derivative of the Roman (Latin) "gradalis" meaning bowl. It is possible that the early medieval surname may have had some religious significance, possibly referring to a maker of holy vessels for ceremonies within the church, or a person responsible for the duties associated with the "graals", but this is not proven. Certainly the spelling as Grahlman or Graalman would indicate a specific responsibility. A quarter of all surnames derive from occupations, and this is an early example. Recordings taken from surviving church registers of both Germany and The Netherlands include, Georg Grahl of Dresden, Germany, on February 8th 1606, Carolina Graal, who married Jan Noij, at Silvolde, Gerderland, Holland, on October 27th 1799, and Tantiena Graalman, the daughter of Teunis Graalman, christened at Winschoten, Groningen, on May 6th 1886. The first known recording of the surname in any spelling, anywhere in the world, is believed to be that of Heydrich Gral, in the charters of Halberstadt, Germany, in the year 1297.
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