Derived from the Olde French 'sorel' the name is a form of patronymic and derives from 'sor' - to mean 'son of Sor'. The odd thing about 'sor' is that it is itself a nickname for a person with a reddish-brown complexion or hair, a description that would appear to apply to a large sector of the population! The modern spellings are Sorel, Sorrell, Sorrill and Serrel, the plurals, when they occur implying 'son of the son of Sor', the name development including, Thomas Sorel of Norfolk, (1175) and William Sorel of Hertford, (1185) - a Crusader Knight Templar The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Sorell which was dated 1130 The Pipe Rolls of Suffolk during the reign of King Henry 1 the Administrator 1100-1135 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.