This interesting surname is English, and occasionally Scottish. It has two possible origins. The first is from the Middle English given name "Randel", a diminutive of the personal name "Rande", to which was added the Norman French diminutive suffix "-el"; meaning little, to give Little Rand or more likely son of Rande. Rande meaning shield, was a first element in many pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon and Germanic compound personal names, such as the popular Randolph. The second source is a form of the Olde English personal names Randwulf or Randulf, themselves from the Norse-Viking name "Rondulfr", and derived from the elements meaning shield and wolf. The personal name was first recorded as Randal, in the assize court rolls of the county of Yorkshire, England, in the year 1204, whilst in Scotland possibly the first surname recording is that of Harry Randell, of Orkney, in 1436. The modern surname can be found as Randall, Randell, Randle, Rendall, Rendell and Rendle, and amongst the early interesting recordings is that of William Randall. He was one of the early emigrant to the New England colonies of America. He left the port of London on board the ship "Expectacon", bound for the Island of Providence, in the West Indies, in April 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Randel. This was dated 1250, in the tax registers known as the "Feet of Fines", during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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