This interesting surname, with variant spellings Blondel(l) and Blundal, derives from the Old French "blund" or "blond", meaning blond with the addition of the diminutive suffix "el(l)", and was originally given as a distinguishing nickname to someone with fair hair or a light complexion. "Blundel" (without surname) appears in the 1115, "Winton Rolls of Hampshire", and a Walterus filius (son of) Blundelli in the 1203, "Curia Regis Rolls of Lincolnshire". The surname was first recorded in the mid 12th Century, (see below). Other early recordings include: Geoffrey Blondel - the 1273, "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", and Robert Blundell - "The Bedfordshire County Rolls", dated 1292. A family by the name of Blundell have held lands at Ince Blundell in Lancashire since 1200, and a Coat of Arms granted to that family depicts ten billets, (representing billet-doux), arranged in lines of four, three, two and one, and a gold canton charged with a black raven all on a blue shield. A sitting red squirrel holding a golden nut is on the crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Blundel, which was dated circa 1140, The Staffordshire Chartulary, during the reign of King Stephen, "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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.