Recorded in a number of spellings including Van Driel, Van Drill, Vandrell, Vandrells, Vandrill, Vanderil, and possibly others, this is a surname of Dutch origins. Like the majority of surnames from both Flanders and the Netherlands it is either locational, and may describe either a person who comes from a particular town or village so named, or it may be topographical and describe somebody who lives at a particular feature in the countryside such as a hill, wood, or in this case a triangular shaped piece of land. The surname has been recorded in England since at least the early 18th century, when during and after the reign of William of Orange (1689 - 1702) large numbers of Dutch people settled in Britain, and an equal number of British went to the Netherlands. It is said that in the Netherlands the preposition "van" does not have the same minor nobility status that "von" does in Germany, which is surprising considering that both have the same origin and meaning. In this case early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers in the city of London include those of John Vandrell, a witness at St Sepulchre church on december 6th 1725, and John Cornelius Van Driel, a witness at New Broad Street Independant church, on August 29th 1765.
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