This interesting name is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were given with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, or to habits of dress and occupation. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sarig", sorry, sad, originally denoting someone with a particularly sad expression, or perhaps referring to one who had played the part of a martyr or "sad" character in a medieval pageant. One Robert le Sorei appears in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire. Sorrie may also be a late (circa 16th Century) dialectal variant of the Scottish name Sorley, itself an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic personal name "Somhairle", from the Old Norse "Sumarliethi", composed of the elements "sumar", summer, with "lithr", warrior, and originally denoting a Viking pirate who used to come to Britain in the summer. In the modern idiom the name is spelt Sorrie and Sorey. On August 20th 1874, the birth of one William Atkinson Sorrie was recorded at Dalkeith, Midlothian. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a shield divided quarterly gold and red, with an azure lion passant in the first quarter. The Lion is emblematic of Strength, Courage and Generosity. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Sori, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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