- This is an unusual and interesting name of French origin and is a diminutive (in the sense "little") of the Olde French "b(o)vre", a type of coarse reddish-brown wollen cloth with long hairs. Thus, the name is a metonymic occupational name for a worker in the wollen trade, possibly a wool carder, or alternatively one who habitually dressed in clothes of this colour. " Borel" was also used as a personal name, and was also used adjectively for a comely man, a countryman. In the modern idiom, the variants are Burrel(l), Borrel(l), Burrill, Birrell, Bor(r)el. In St. Mary's Whitechapel, London one Ann Elizabeth Borrill was christened on 5th February 1748.The Coat of Arms most associated with the family has the blazon of a gold shield thereon a red saltire between four green leaves, on a blue chief a lion's head erased between two battle axes proper. The crest being an arm armed holding a bunch of burdock, with the motto; Adhaereo. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Burel, which was dated 1194, in the Pipe Rolls, Wiltshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart 1189 - 1199". 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.