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Gorrell Coat of Arms / Gorrell Family Crest

Gorrell Coat of Arms / Gorrell Family Crest

During the Middle Ages surnames were first used in order to distinguish between numbers of people bearing the same christian name. As taxation, under William The Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066, became the law, documentation became essential, and names were chosen from a man's trade, his father's name, some personal physical characteristic, or from his place of residence. In the case of the name GORRELL it was a locational name from a place called GORWELL in County Essex, or from GORREL in Devonshire. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form GARWULF, literally meaning the dweller at the muddy nook or hill. The earliest of the name on record appears to be William Henry GOREL, who was documented in 1176 in County Kent, and Margeria GORULF was recorded in 1276 in County Sussex. Walter de GORWELL was mentioned in records in 1327. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Edwin GOREL of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.


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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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