This rare and interesting name is of English origin. It is a dialectal variant of a locational name Ordsall, from a place so called in the county of Nottinghamshire. The surname is recorded in the surviving church registers of this and other neighbouring counties. There is also a place called Ordsall in Lancashire, but this does not seem to have been the origin of any surname holders. Ordsall (Nottinghamshire) is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Ordeshale' and later in the tax registers known as the The Book of Fees for the year 1242 as 'Ordishall'. It is probably from the latter spelling that the surname developed in the late Middle Ages. Both places derive from the same origin. This is an Old English pre 7th century word 'ordleah', which appears to translate as an area of land on a ridge, and probably one which was cleared for agriculture. This is from 'ord' meaning a ridge, and 'halh'. This has a variety of meanings including a corner of land, a cave or secret place, a remote valley, or even a bend in a river! Amongst the sample recordings in the surviving church registers of the English Midlands is the marriage of one William Ordish and Elizabeth Smith on March 18th 1719, at the village of Edingate, and the christening on May 7th 1752 at the famous brewery town of Burton-upon-Trent, of Joseph Ordish. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Agnes Ordish. She married William Bell, on January 25th 1560, at Plumtree by Nottingham. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, 1558-1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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