This very interesting an ancient surname is Anglo-Scottish of French origins. It was originally locational from the towns of Normanville or Norville in France, and if not introduced by followers of William the Conqueror in 1066, came shortly afterwards. In Scotland the clan are known as 'Norvel and all that Ilk', however there are so many spellings of the surname, an indication of its original popularity and power, that it is not possible to include every variant form here. The spellings do include (de) Normanville, Norville, Norvill, Norval, Norvel, Norwell, etc. Early recordings include Robert Norvyle of Scotland, who witnessed the transfer of lands from Sir David Weymss of Fife in the year 1373, whilst the first name holder, see below, was not only baron of the Exchequer of England, but Keeper of the Kings wardrobe, and the treasurer of the Crecy Campaign to France in 1345. To him it appears, was granted the coat of arms with the blazon of a red field, a silver fretty, overall a bend vaire of gold and red. The clan coat of arms has the blazon of a silver field, charged with three black martlets, the sign of the soldier of fortune, the martlet being a footless bird, and unable to land. Other recordings taken at random are those of Guy Novill who married Anne Gravell at the church of St Marys, Westminster, on March 4th 1613, whilst on May 10th 1699, in the reign of William 111 of Orange, William Norval was a witness at St Olaves church, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Norwell, which was dated 1363, in the baron of the Exchequer of England, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as 'The father of the English navy', 1327 - 1377. 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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