This interesting name is of Olde English pre 7th Century origins. It is locational and describes a person who was resident by a red sandbank, or was a former inhabitant of the village of Rathwell, in the Yorkshire Dales, between Skipton and Settle. The name derives from the ancient words "raud-melr" , the village being recorded in the 1086 Domesday Boom as "Rodemele", so much for spelling. The modern surname is usually Wraith or Wraythe, a foreshortening in the same way that many Smiths were originally Blacksmiths, Greensmiths, and the like. The name in its spellings of Wrathall, Wrathmall, Wrathmell, Wrathnell, and Wrathmill, was originally only found in Yorkshire. Examples from these early recordings include William Wrathall of Linton in Craven, who married Margaret Hebden on October 1st 1584, Maragaret Wrthmell, of Mirfield, a witness there on August 28th 1677, and James Wrathmill, married at Thornhill, near Dewsbury, on July 18th 1830. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Wraythwell. which was dated 1528, in the ancient rolls of Yorkshire known as "The Friary Rolls", during the reign of King Henry VIII, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1510 - 1547.
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