This most interesting and unusual surname is of Scandinavian-Viking origin and is most associated now with the Isle of Man and Ireland. It is transposition of Crennell, a Manx name formerly Mac Reghnaill, and meaning "The son of the ruler of the gods". Well there you are, you cannot do much better than to come on earth with a name like that! It seems to have been first introduced into the British Isles including Ireland in about the 7th century and not surprisingly was the name of several kings both of Ireland and of the Isle of Man.The surname first appears in its original form in the late 11th Century in medieval Irish Records (see below), whilst in different spellings the modern surname appears regularly in Church Registers of the Isle of Man. A. W. Moore in his published work "Manx Names", traces the following development of the surname: MacReynylt (1511); Crenilt (1627); Crellin (1601); and Crennil (1646). Examples of the surname found in Isle of Man Church Registers include: the marriage of John Crellin and Katharine Tyldesley on January 1st 1632, at Marown. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey Mac MicRagnaill, King of Dublin which was dated 1075, in "Manx Names", by A. W. Moore, during the reign of Irish High Kings in Opposition, 1022 - 1166. 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.
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