This interesting name with variants Brentnoll and Brentnell, is of English locational origin from either "Brentnall", possibly a place in Nottinghamshire, where the name is popular, so called from the Old English pre seventh Century personal name "Branta", from "brand", sword, plus the second element "halh", nook, recess, or "Brent knoll" near Glastenbury in Somerset, deriving from the Old English pre seventh Century "brant", steep, and "cnoll", a knoll, hence "a steep hill or knoll". The name first appears in the late 16th Century, (see below). Anne Brentnall, daughter of Nichus, was christened at Selston, in Nottinghamshire on April 20th, 1629, while on November 7th Helena Brentnell married Raphaeli Hollingworth at Kirby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. Anne Baker married George Brentnell at St. Bartholomew the less, London on January 18th 1647. William Brentnel, London on September 24th 1668. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Brentnall, which was dated January 25th 1595, who married John Calton at St. Peter's, Nottingham, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.