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About the study
Surname study started 15 May 2016
Just starting out, so keeping it to England only at this stage, focusing in the Kent area.
Surname Database & House of Names differ in the origin of the surname.
Surname Database says
...it is almost certainly from the village of Withnell near Blackburn, in the county of Lancashire. This village is first recorded in the year 1160 as Withenhull, or the hill covered by willow.
While House of Names says
The surname Whitnall was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Wettenhall.and also
At the time of the taking of the Doomsday book in 1086, Wettenhall was held by Gilbert de Venables, a Norman Baron, and conjectually this family name is descended from that source of relative.
According to an ONS database in Sept 2002, there were 391 people with the Whitnall surname
Distribution of the name
In looking at the map given on forebears and selecting England. It shows two fairly big clusters for the Whitnall surname.
One cluster being Kent, Surry, Middlesex, Essex & Hertfordshire. The other being in Lancashire & Cheshire