This unusual name is of early Medieval English origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called "Orrell" in Lancashire, one of which is situated in the parish of Wigan, and the other in the parish of Sefton. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the Old English pre 7th Century word "ora", ore, and "hyll", hill; the place in Wigan was recorded as "Horhill" in the 1202 Pipe Rolls of Lancashire, and the place in Sefton as "Orhul" in 1299. Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor, and to those former inhabitants of a place who left to live or work in another area, and were most easily identified by the name of their birthplace. The Register of the University of Oxford for 1590 lists one Peter Orrell of Lancashire, and the marriage of Benjamin Orrell and Mary Shepley was recorded on November 21st 1689 at St. Katherine's by the Tower, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Horul, which was dated circa 1190, Baine's "History of Lancashire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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