Show ContentsOrrell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Orrell surname is thought to be a habitational name, derived a place named Orell in Lancashire. The place name is thought to derive from the Old English "ora," meaning "ore," most likely iron ore, and "hyll," meaning "a hill." [1]

Early Origins of the Orrell family

The surname Orrell was first found in Lancashire at either Orrell, with Ford or Orrell, townships that date back to the Domesday Book of 1086. [2]

"Matthew de L'Oriel, or L'Oriol, and Robert L,'Orle, occur in the Norman Exchequer Rolls 1180-95. In England I find an old Lancashire family named Orrell, though Baines seems to assign to them a Saxon origin. 'Richard de Horul held half a carucate in thanage and a render of 10s - together with the service of finding one judger of old. As these possessions were drengages, it would seem that the Horuls were descended from the thanes of the Domesday Survey, and they were ancestors of the Orrells of Turton, who had also property in the adjoining township of Dalton in the time of Henry VIII. Orrell Hall is now a large farmhouse." [2]

One of the family built Turton Tower. 'The expense, it is said, was so exorbitant as to cripple the Orrells, and they were never able to recover from its effects. After many struggles, they first mortgaged the township, and subsequently sold it to the celebrated Humphrey Chetham. Several of the Orrells still reside in Turton and the neighbourhood.'-Illustrated Itinerary of Lancashire.

The township of Orrell retains their name. I cannot find that it belongs to any place in Normandy; but there is a town called Loriol on the Rhone. Oriel, the ancient name of the Irish county of Lowth, which gives the title of Baron to Viscount Massareene, is merely the Anglicized form of the Celtic Orgial or Argial. Camden speaks of 'the famous family of the Orells' of Turton-Tower. A Robert Oriol witnesses the foundation charter of Northampton Priory." [3]

Turton Tower survives today as a manor house in Chapeltown in North Turton, Borough of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire.

Early History of the Orrell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Orrell research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1480 and 1765 are included under the topic Early Orrell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Orrell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Orrell, Orrel, Orell and others.

Early Notables of the Orrell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Orrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Orrell Ranking

In the United States, the name Orrell is the 18,528th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Orrell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Orrell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alex Orrell, who landed in America in 1705
Orrell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Orrell, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1848
Orrell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ellen Orrell, aged 46, who landed in America from Botton, in 1904
  • Edward Orrell, aged 71, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Burton Orrell, aged 9, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Helen Orrell, aged 9, who landed in America from Ince, England, in 1907
  • John Orrell, aged 4, who immigrated to the United States from Ince, England, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Orrell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Orrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Orrell, English convict who was convicted in Wigan, Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 19th August 1829, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]

West Indies Orrell migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Orrell Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Orrell who settled in Barbados in 1669

Contemporary Notables of the name Orrell (post 1700) +

  • Marc "The Kid" Orrell (b. 1982), American guitarist
  • William Orrell, American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Caroline County, 1827-31 [7]
  • Robert Orrell, American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Caroline County, 1799-1802; Member of Maryland State Senate from Eastern Shore, 1821-25 [7]
  • Daniel Orrell, American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Caroline County, 1840-41 [7]
  • Timothy Orrell (b. 1967), English cricketer
  • David John Orrell (b. 1962), Canadian mathematician and author who is living in Oxford, England
  • John Orrell (1934-2003), Canadian author, theatre historian, and English professor at the University of Alberta
  • John Orrell Lever (1824-1897), English shipping owner and politician, Member of Parliament for Galway Borough (1859-1865) and from (1880-1885)

HMS Dorsetshire
  • Leonard Eric Orrell (d. 1945), British Stoker 2nd Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [8]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Walter J Orrell (b. 1918), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Coventry, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [9]

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th February 2021). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from
  8. Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th),
  9. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook