Sorrell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Sorrell is an ancient Norman name, that would have been used in Britain soon after the Conquest of the island in 1066. This name was given to a person who was a person with red hair, a ruddy complexion, or who dressed habitually in the color red. The name was originally derived from the Old Norse word sor, meaning chestnut, and referring to the reddish color of dry leaves.

Early Origins of the Sorrell family

The surname Sorrell was first found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands at Waltham and Stebbings by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Sorrell means "yellow."

Early History of the Sorrell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sorrell research. Another 66 words (5 lines of text) covering the year 1200 is included under the topic Early Sorrell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sorrell Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Sorrell, Sorel, Sorell, Sorril, Sorrill, Sorwell and others.

Early Notables of the Sorrell family (pre 1700)

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


United States Sorrell migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sorrell or a variant listed above:

Sorrell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Sorrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Robert Sorrell, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Tho Sorrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1642 [1]
  • John Sorrell who settled in Virginia in 1647
  • Mary Sorrell, who landed in Maryland in 1648 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sorrell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Sorrell, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 [1]
Sorrell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Francis Sorrell, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1824 [1]
  • Stephen Sorrell, aged 25, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1832 [1]
  • Dr. Sorrell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]

Australia Sorrell migration to Australia +

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

Sorrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Sorrell, (Sorell), (b. 1806), aged 28, English ploughman who was convicted in Essex, England for life for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 27 September 1834, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1874 [2]
  • George Sorrell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ramillies" in 1849 [3]
  • R. Sorrell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1849 [4]
  • Mr. John Sorrell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1851, en route to Adelaide [5]
  • Mrs. Anna Sorrell, (b. 1818), aged 32, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1851, en route to Adelaide [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sorrell (post 1700) +

  • Victor "Vic" Garland Sorrell (1901-1972), American Major League pitcher for the Detroit Tigers
  • Orville G. Sorrell, American politician, Mayor of Erlanger, Kentucky, 1976-81 [6]
  • J. R. Sorrell, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1952 [6]
  • Frank Sorrell, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 1948; Candidate for Governor of Nebraska, 1948 [6]
  • Francis Sorrell, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 12th District, 1861-62 [6]
  • E. W. Sorrell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Louisiana, 1912 [6]
  • Tony Sorrell (b. 1966), English former professional footballer
  • Nancy Sorrell (b. 1974), English model
  • Kevin James Sorrell (b. 1977), English rugby union footballer
  • Sir Martin Sorrell (b. 1945), English businessman, current chief executive officer of WPP Group
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RAMILIES 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Ramillies.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The barque WILLIAM WATSON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849WilliamWatson.htm
  5. ^ The Argus News Paper 27th January 1852 Page 2 (Retrieved 26th April 2019). Retrieved from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/4775844?browse=ndp%3Abrowse%2Ftitle%2FA%2Ftitle%2F13%2F1851%2F01%2F27%2Fpage%2F505154%2Farticle%2F4775844
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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