This interesting surname is English but of pre 7th century Old French origin. It belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes and peculiarities, and to habits of dress and behaviour. The derivation, in this instance, is from the word "sor", meaning chestnut as a colour, and used here to denote someone with reddish-brown hair or complexion. Early examples of the surname include: Elena la Sore of Somerset, in the Hundred Rolls of 1273; John le Soor of Suffolk, in 1327); and Roger le Sor, of Somerset, in 1327. In the modern idiom the name has several spellings including Soar, Soares, Soars, Sore, Sores, and others, the final "s" indicates the patronymic and is a reduced form of "son of". On August 25th 1694, Sarah Soars and John Hoskin were married at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone, London, and on April 7th 1799, Samuel Soars was christened at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London. The surnames Sorrel, Sorrell and Sorrill belong to the above group, and are derived from the Old French "sorel", a diminutive of "sor", chestnut, reddish-brown. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Sor. This was dated 1176, in the Pipe Rolls of Dorset, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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