Recorded in many spelling forms including Yarrall, Yarrell, Yarroll, Yerrall, Yerrell, Yerrill, Yarill, Yerill, Yourl, Yourell, and many others, all quite rare, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from the hamlet of Yarwell in Northamptonshire, or possibly from Gorwell in Essex or Gorrel in the county of Devonshire. The name and various place names is seemingly a fusing of the pre 7th century words 'yore or gore' meaning a triangle of land or sometimes swampy land, with 'waella' a spring, and hyl, a hill or mound. Another possibility is thsat the surname is a dialectal form of Yarkhill in the county of Hereford. This place name means "The hill by the river". Another possible explanation is that the name originates from a now "lost" medieval village. Some three thousand English surnames are known to come from such places, whose only memory in the 21st century is the surname itself. When a village was abandoned for whatever reason such as plage, or changes in farming, the original inhabitants often scattered, taking as their surname, the name of their former home. This would also explain the wide variety of spelling forms. Early examples of the surname recordings include: Saray Yarle, of Gosberton, Lincolnshire, on July 6th 1586, George Yeorle who married Agnes Home at St Margarets church, Westminster on May 3rd 1557, Marguerite Yerll, who married Lenard Tayller (!) at St Stephans, city of London, on April 11th 1619, and Diana Yarrall who married David Anderson at St Sepulchre church in the city of London, on February 24th 1789. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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