This is a surname of locational origins. It is North Midlands English, and locational, there being two villages called Hucknall in Derbyshire, and one in Nottinhamshire. The Derbyshire villages are only about ten miles apart at each end of a valley, and it would seem that in ancient times possibly around the 5th century, the area was "controlled" by a tribe called the "Hucca people". The village name is first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Hochehalh", and this literally translates as the valley of the Hucca. Locational surnames were usually granted to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. In medieval times it was, and to some extent it remains so today, that one of the easiest ways to identify "strangers", was to call them by the name of the place or region from whence they came. It is perhaps therefore not surprising that the first of all known recordings of the surname incurred in the county of Suffolk, about as far away as one could get from the North Midlands. Another recording from slightly later, is that of the Lincolnshire land owner Walter de Hukenille, in the Pipe Rolls for the county dated 1293. The first recording is that of Hamo de Hukenelle in the Hundred Rolls for the county of Suffolk, in the year 1273. This was during the first year of the reign of the famous King Edward 1st, 1273 - 1307, and known byn the nickname of "The Hammer of the Scots".
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