Recorded as Hardwell, Hurdwell, the popular Harwell and Horwell, this is an English locational surname. It originates from either the village of Hardwell in the county of Royal Berkshire or the better known town of Harwell, in the same county. The first village has the meaning of the treasure spring, and relates to a pagan place of worship where people came to throw coins in for good luck. Presumably it was somebody elses good luck to fish them out again! The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century 'horde waella,' with waella meaning a spring, and only later in medival times, a well in the conventional sense.Harwell has a rather different interpretation being the spring on the grey hill, from the early recording in 936 a.d of 'Haranwhylle'. 'Grey' is probably not the actual translation, and it may be that the reference is to the grey/white chalk hills in the vicinity. Locational names are usually 'from' names. That is to say surnames given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. This might be the next village or quite often it was the mecca of London, from where we have taken the following recordings. These are Luce Hurdwell who was christened at St Johns Hackney, on January 18th 1591, and Richard Harwell at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on November 29th 1629.
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