Dirnall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many generations and branches of the Dirnall family can all place the origins of their surname with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name reveals that an early member worked as a grower of darnel, a plant believed to induce intoxication. The name's origins are Old French; darnel is the French name for this plant. It was brought into England by the Normans after the Norman Conquest of 1066. [1]

Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.

Occasionally the name was local; there is a Darnall in Yorkshire, and a small group of people took their name from that location. [2]

Early Origins of the Dirnall family

The surname Dirnall was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Darnell, a hamlet, in the parish and union of Sheffield, S. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill. Darnhall is a township in Cheshire, 6 miles from Middlewich and this township may also be the origin of the name. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Agnes Darnel, Suffolk; Henry Darnel, Cambridgeshire; and

William Darnel, Huntingdonshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included Thomas Darnal and Roger Dernele as holding lands there at that time. [4]

However, we must look to the aforementioned Suffolk to find the first record of the family; for it is there that Goduine Dernel was listed c. 1095. Later, Godwin Darnel was also listed there in 1177. Tomas Darnele was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1193. [1]

Early History of the Dirnall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dirnall research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1095, 1177, 1193, 1379, 1638, 1604, 1645, 1711, 1605, 1675, 1683, 1689, 1706, 1672, 1735 and 1710 are included under the topic Early Dirnall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dirnall Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Dirnall were recorded, including Darnell, Darnall, Darnoll, Darnel, Darnal, Darnol, Darnhill, Dartnall, Dartnell and many more.

Early Notables of the Dirnall family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Thomas Darnell, 1st Baronet (died c. 1638), an English landowner, at the centre of a celebrated state legal case in the reign of Charles I of England, often known as the "Five Knights' Case" but to the lawyers of the period as "Darnell's Case." Philip Darnall (born 1604), was an English barrister; and his son, Colonel Henry Darnall (1645-1711), emigrated to North America to become a wealthy Maryland Roman Catholic planter, 3rd Baron Baltimore...
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dirnall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dirnall family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Dirnall family emigrate to North America: Thomas Darnel, who arrived in Maryland in 1684; Richard Durnel, a bonded passenger who arrived in Barbados in1669; Mr. & Mrs. H. Darnell who arrived in San Francisco California with 2 children in 1856.



The Dirnall Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Deus nobiscum
Motto Translation: God be with us.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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