An Olde Norse personal name Arnkell, from the pre 7th century and introduced into England before the Norman Invation. The name is one of the earliest recorded and appears at least three times in the Domesday Book. Like most names it does not appear as a surname until the 13th century, and in the modern idiom there are five spellings, the first surname recording being Richard Arkill, C1256, Northumberland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Arnketel of Norfolk which was dated 1019, The Abbey of Ramsey during the reign of King Canute, 1016 - 1035 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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