This ancient and distinguished surname, recorded in over fifty spellings, is usually of Olde German and Anglo-Saxon origins. It derives from a baptismal compound personal name Ernault or Arnolt, of which the elements are "arn", meaning an eagle, and "wald", to rule.
The name spread rapidly throughout Northern Europe in the period known as "The dark ages", roughly between the 6th and 11th centuries A.D., and following the fall of the Roman Empire. There are now many different spellings of the surname and examples include Arnhold, Arnout, Arnatt, Erni, Harnett, Arnould, Arnaud, Ahrend, Arnaudi, Arlett, Arnaudin, Arnaiz, Arents and many others.
- http://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/aa/arnold1.php (membership required to view without interruption)
- http://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/aa/arnold2.php (membership required to view without interruption)