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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: French, Irish

Where did the Irish Farrell family come from? What is the Irish Farrell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Farrell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Farrell family history?

The Farrell surname comes from the Irish Gaelic name O Fearghail, which means "man of valor."


Because early scribes and church officials often spelled names as they sounded, a person could have many various spellings of his name.Many different spelling variations of the surname Farrell were found in the archives researched. These included Ferrell, Farrell, O'Ferrall, O'Farrell, Farrelly, Fraleigh, Frawley, Frahill and many more.

First found in Leinster, where they were found mainly in County Longford.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farrell research. Another 319 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1235 and 1248 are included under the topic Early Farrell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Farrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of Irish families fled an Ireland that was forcibly held through by England through its imperialistic policies. A large portion of these families crossed the Atlantic to the shores of North America. The fate of these families depended on when they immigrated and the political allegiances they showed after they arrived. Settlers that arrived before the American War of Independence may have moved north to Canada at the war's conclusion as United Empire Loyalists. Such Loyalists were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Those that fought for the revolution occasionally gained the land that the fleeing Loyalist vacated. After this period, free land and an agrarian lifestyle were not so easy to come by in the East. So when seemingly innumerable Irish immigrants arrived during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s, free land for all was out of the question. These settlers were instead put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Whenever they came, Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Farrell or a variant listed above, including:

Farrell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Simon Farrell, aged 19, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Garrett Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1637
  • Alexander Farrell settled in Virginia in 1656
  • Alexander Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1656
  • Tho Farrell, who landed in Virginia in 1657

Farrell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Margt Farrell, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Frances Farrell, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Margaret Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Marquess Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Honour Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1702

Farrell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Wm Farrell, aged 3, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Thos Farrell, aged 23, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Eliz Farrell, aged 22, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Flizabeth Farrell, aged 22, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Payton Farrell, who landed in New York, NY in 1804


  • James Thomas Farrell (1904-1979), American novelist and critic
  • Eileen Farrell (1920-2002), American opera and concert singer soprano
  • Michael Joseph "Mike" Farrell (b. 1939), American actor, best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the popular television series M*A*S*H (1975-83)
  • Suzanne Farrell (b. 1945), American ballerina and founder of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C
  • Patrick Farrell, American reporter who won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography
  • Lieutenant-General Francis William Farrell (1900-1981), American Commanding General 7th Army (1959-1960)
  • Major-General Thomas Francis Farrell (1891-1967), American Deputy Supervisor Manhattan Project (1945-1946)
  • Colin James Farrell (b. 1976), Golden Globe and Satellite Award winning Irish actor
  • Ciarán Farrell (b. 1969), Irish composer
  • Mr. James "Jim" Farrell (d. 1912), aged 25, Irish Third Class passenger from Killoe, Longford who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Cu reabtha
Motto Translation: The rampaging dog.


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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  5. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Farrell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Farrell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 October 2014 at 16:21.

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