This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational surname deriving from any one of various places in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Kent. The places in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire are called Radwell, and both are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Radeuuelle"; the name means "the red spring or stream", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "read", red, with "well(a)", spring or stream. Rodwell, a parish in the diocese of Rochester, Kent, derives its name from the Olde English personal name "Hroda", a short form of various compound names with the first element "hrod", renown, with "well(a)", as before. Locational surnames were acquired especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname from this source can be found as Rodwell, Radwell, and Rudwell. The christening of Hugh, son of John Rodwell, was recorded at St. Michael Bassishaw, London, on July 27th 1572, and the marriage of Thomas Rodwell and Hanna Francknet was recorded in Eaton Socon, Bedfordshire, on October 27th 1624. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Radewell, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire", 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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