Recorded as Yarnold, Yarnall, Yarnell, Yernell and others, this is an English medieval surname.It is a dialectal fused spelling of the famous personal name and surname "Arnold" This derives from two possible sources. Firstly, it may be from a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic elements "arn", eagle, plus "wald", rule, a compound form popular with the warlike tribes of the period. Alternatively it may originate as a habitational name from places called "Arnold", in both Nottinghamshire and Humberside. These are named from the Old English elements "earn", eagle, and "halh", nook or hollow. Examples of the name taken from early church records include William Yernall of Claines, Worcester, a witness at the christening of his daughter Elizabeth on January 8th 1551, Thomas Yernoll, who married Margaret Becoll at St Olave's, Old Jewry, London, on November 4th 1591, and Robert Yarnell, a witness at St Michael Queenhithe, in the city of London, on October 6th 1756, whilst Elizabeth Yarnold was christened at Sheriff Hales, Shropshire on February 21st also in 1756. The surname was apparently first recorded in Worcestershire, as shown below, and clearly the persons concerned were of some considerable importance. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John and Joan Yarnold, which was dated 1460, when they were benefactors of the church of St James Oddingley, during the reign of King Henry V1 of England 1422- 1461. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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