This is an unusual example of a locational surname, which has itself retained the (near) original spelling, whilst the place after which it was named has changed course completely in its spelling. It is usual in England, because indeed the name is one hundred percent English, for names to lose soft consonants, the prime example being "h" which often disappears. In this case it should have gone but stayed! The origin is from the Lancashire village of Orrel, which was recorded in 1202 in the Pipe Rolls of the county as Horil or Horhill, but correctly should have been "Ore Hill". In fact it was recorded as Orhille only four years later in the Pipe Rolls of 1206, and basically has retained this form ever since. However the registration of the village with an "h" was sufficient to create a surname form, and so it has remained, more or less. Most locational surnames derive either from the Lord of the Manor, or for the great majority of people, from the sad day when for whatever reason, they left their original village and moved to another area. In so doing they were given (or took) what they perceived to be the spelling of their former home, as their "surname". As few could spell, names often took on a quite different appearance from their origins. In this case the name appears early in London, Richard Horrell being recorded at St Andrews Holborn on February 1st 1567, whilst Peter Orrell is recorded at the same church (!) on March 6th 1574, Mary Harrill at St James Church, Dukes Place in 1689, and Henry Horrill married Sarah Steele at St Michaels, Cornhill, on May 18th 1735. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henrie Orrell, which was dated June 1st 1564, christened at Winwick, Lancashire, parents not recorded, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 known as "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.
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