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Turn back the clock a century you will often find one or more variations of the spelling of a surname. In times past when most people didn't read and write and those that did mostly would win a spelling bee they were at the mercy of census takers, county clerks, land office clerks.

A family name or surname was often spelled the way the writer thought it sounded or saw someone else write it. Even the owner of the name wasn't always sure how it was spelled.

Names were also changed to make it easier for people of various nationalities to spell when people arrived in America. They became "Americanized"

Our family name happens to be Jarrell but it has been written and spelled many ways. So here we have Jarrell, Gerald, Jerrell, Jerrel, Jerel, Fitzgerald, Fitzjarrell, Jarel, Gerrard, Gerard, Jarrard, Jared, Jerrell, Garrad, Garred, Jarratt, Jarrie, Jarrett and many more than could be cousins if you are a Jarrell.

In the mid 1800's in Delaware many names changed from Gerald or Fitzgerald to Jarrell and I would love to know why.

Gerald derives from an Old German name, Gerhard. Gerhard means "brave with a spear". http://www.blurtit.com/

 

Jarrell says ancestry.com is English: probably a variant of Gerald. - Gerald English and French (Gérald): from the personal name Gerald, Gérald, composed of the Germanic elements geri, gari spear + wald rule; it was introduced to Britain from France by the Normans.

Answers.com says Jarrell is English: probably a variant of Gerald.

The meaning of Gerald - Gerald English and French (Gerald): from the personal name Gerald, Gérald, composed of the Germanic elements geri, gari - spear and wald - rule. It was introduced to Britain from France by the Normans.

Jarrell is a one of the off shoots of Gerhard or Gerald.

The term "Fitz" meant "Son of" and was given to the oldest son of a family until the father died, after which the son became Gerald or Jarrell or whatever spelling was chosen. So the son of Gerald or Jarrell became Fitzgerald until his father died then then he became Gerald or Jarrell.

Fitz: a Norman-French word derived from the Latin word filius "son".

The FitzGeralds were (and still are) the senior nobility of Ireland and have been since the middle ages.

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Wiley Jarrell keeps a large database of Jarrells.

If you haven't made contact and are Jarrell, share your information e-mail: wajarrell@earthlink.net

 

 

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