The ancestry of the name Orwell dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in the settlement of Orwell in Cambridgeshire
, in Orwell Haven in Suffolk
, or in the lands of Orwell in the Scottish county of Kinross. The surname Orwell belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation
names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Orwell family
The surname Orwell was first found in Cambridgeshire
at Orwell which dates back to the Domesday Book
where it was listed as Ordeuuelle. The place name literally means "spring by a pointed hill," from the Old English words ord + wella. The River Orwell in Suffolk
dates back to the 11th century when it was listed as Arewan and later as Orewell in 1341. This ancient Celtic river-name means simply "stream" having derived from the Old English word "wella." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Today Orwell, Cambridgeshire
has a population of about 1,080 people and the Roman road still runs to Cambridge runs alongside the village. St Andrew's Church dates back to about 1150 A.D.
Early History of the Orwell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Orwell research.Another 199 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1140, 1231 and 1362 are included under the topic Early Orwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Orwell Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Orwell have been found, including Orwell, Orwill, Orvell and others.
Early Notables of the Orwell family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Orwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Orwell family to the New World and Oceana
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England
. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England
, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Orwell, or a variant listed above:
Orwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John Orwell, who landed in Maryland in 1676 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- Catherine Orwell and her husband were banished to Jamaica in 1685
Contemporary Notables of the name Orwell (post 1700)
- George Orwell (1903-1950), pen name for Eric Arthur Blair, English novelist, essayist and critic who was probably best known for "Animal Farm" and "1984"