This unusual and very interesting surname can be described as both English and French, with possibly a dash of Dutch. It originates from places called Orange in France, of which the most famous was the region near Lyon, from which the House of Orange, the royal family of the Netherlands, and the original Comptes d'Orange were the land owners. They were dispossed in the religious wars of the 16th to 18th century, although as the Stadtholders of Holland, their power base remained largely unaffected.The surname was first introduced into England by one of the followers of William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066. This was a William de Orange, and although he may have been an ancester, he should not in anyway be confused with William of Orange, king of England from 1688 to 1702. In fact there is considerable confusion about the first William de Orange, as after a preliminary appearance in the Domesday Book of 1086, no further recordings have been found until two centuries later in 1296 when one John Orrenge of Sussex is so recorded. There was a female personal name variously spelt as Orengia and Orenge, and the suggestion is that the medieval surname when it occurs, is from this source. However what is certain is that the Huguenot Refugeees of the 17th century brought the surname from France to add to the existing English forms. One of the first of the new input was Abraham Orange, the son of Abrham and Susanne, who was christened at Threadneedle Street French church, on April 7th 1695.
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