This unusual and interesting name is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, as "Hure", from the Old French word "hure" meaning "hair". The surname is from a nickname for someone with an untidy, shaggy, head of hair, since the Old French verb "hurer" meant to bristle, ruffle, or stand on end. There is a similar modern name, Hurren or Hurran, derived from the same source and meaning "the shaggy-haired one". "Hurrell" is the diminutive form of the name. Amongst the sample recordings in London is the christening of Susanna Hurnell on April 7th 1665, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Hurel, which was dated 1154, Charters of the Abbey of Rievalux, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, "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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