Re: The Early Orrell's (Medieval)
I will certainly see if I can track down your book. I am not really that interested in genealogy, I am more interested in plain history. My main interest is 17th/18th century political/military history. My cousin has been trying to resume and continue the work my uncle did into the family history. So I am not too sure of the exact date he has got to.
My cousin has fleshed out the material for say 1700 upwards and across to offshoots of the family but he hasn't been able to get anything new from before 1700. My uncle got the Dorrell's back to circa 1650 and then a gap to the Darrell, etc in late medieval time (1500???). But the source my uncle used for the early stuff has been lost - he was doing this in the 30s and 40's.
As I have a background in history I have been trying to use historical sources, as opposed to the usual genealogical sources, to get to the pre 1700 period. This also kind of ties in with a long term project of mine to map the medieval Marcher lordships, who owned them, etc - not that this has actually got too far.
But in any case to get back to your much appreciated reply. I basically have about this an open mind and also an 'empty' mind - basically I have a gap with no information to fill it with. As there are Orrell's in Worcestershire in the 17th century when the Dorrell's appear for the first time in Worcestershire, as far as I know, I guess we can keep the possibility of some kind of connection alive, if not actually likely. As you say spelling was variable at the time and also another factor would be that people woud not be used to hearing accents from far away. So any Orrell's from Lancashire would probably sound very strange to your average 17th century Worcestershire bloke :) Interestingly in another context I have come across some really strange spellings of things in this kind of period where the writer is not used to the speakers accent.
In any case I this has given me a lot to think about and I think I need to do a lot more work.