Urell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Urell 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 Urell family

The surname Urell 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 Urell family

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

Urell Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Urell family (pre 1700)

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


New Zealand Urell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Urell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Cornelius Urell (Wick), (b. 1837), aged 22, English schoolmaster, from London travelling from London aboard the ship "Robert Small" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th January 1860 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Urell (post 1700) +

  • Tom Moore Urell, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1956 [5]


  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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