This unusual and ancient name is of early Medieval English origin, and derives from a Germanic personal name, in Old German forms found as Ricoald, Ricold, and Richold as a male personal name, and,as a female given name, Richolda and Richoldis. The male form is composed of the Germanic elements 'ric', power, and 'wald', rule, while the female form is made up of 'ric', as before, with 'wild', battle. Early recordings of the personal names include those of 'Johannes nepos (nephew) Richold' in the 1177 Lincolnshire Pipe Rolls, and 'Richolda uxor (wife of) Pagani' in the 1213 Curia Rolls of Surrey. The marriage of Nicholas Richold and Elizabeth Taylour was recorded at St. Margaret Lothbury, London, on November 12th 1613. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Richold, which was dated 1297, in the accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272-1307. 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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