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The name Durnall comes from one of the family having 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. 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. This makes Durnall an example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

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The surname Durnall was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Durnall have been found, including: Darnell, Darnall, Darnoll, Darnel, Darnal, Darnol, Darnhill, Dartnall, Dartnell and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Durnall research. Another 243 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1095, 1177, 1193, 1379, 1638, 1604, 1645, 1711, 1605, 1675, 1683 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Durnall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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...

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Durnall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Durnall, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were : 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.

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  • Frank M. Durnall, American politician, Mayor of Newark, Delaware, 1957
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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.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
    3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
    10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    11. ...

    The Durnall Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Durnall Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 29 March 2016 at 08:41.

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