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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

The origins of the Tyrrell surname date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a stubborn or obstinate person. The surname Tyrrell is derived from the Old French word tirer, which means to draw. This is used in the same sense as the word tirand, which means "one who pulls on the reins;" thus it may be that it was used as a nickname for a stubborn person, before coming to be used as a hereditary surname.

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The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Tyrrell has been spelled many different ways, including Tyrell, Terrell, Terrill, Tyrill, Turrell, Tirell, Tyrrell and many more.

First found in Essex where one of the first records of the name is Walter Tirel III, (1065-c. 1100), Castellan of Pontoise and Lord of Poix, son of Walter Tirell II. [1] He is remembered for his involvement in the death of King William II (William Rufus) on a hunting trip in the New Forest on August 2nd, 1100. Some say it was an accident when Walter shot an arrow at a stag which glanced from the beast and struck King William II, while others disagree. However, accordingly to chroniclers of the time, they parted at the beginning of the hunt on good terms, but the king was later found with one of the arrows given to Walter by the king in his chest. There is a stone in the Forest at Stoney Cross marking the spot where the King fell. Walter's grandson Hugh Tyrrel (died 1199) took part in the Norman Conquest of Ireland where he became the first Baron of Castleknock and later took part in the Third Crusade.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tyrrell research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1423, 1450, 1502, 1502, 1597, 1676, 1661, 1676, 1617, 1701, 1643, 1718, 1642, 1718, 1623 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Tyrrell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 229 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tyrrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Tyrrell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 65 words(5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Tyrrells to arrive in North America:

Tyrrell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • William Tyrrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1667

Tyrrell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Michael Tyrrell, who arrived in America in 1739

Tyrrell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Tyrrell, who arrived in New York in 1837
  • Bridget Tyrrell, who was on record in Pittsburgh in 1854

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  • Susan Tyrrell (b. 1945), American actress
  • Emmett Tyrrell (b. 1943), American conservative magazine editor, New York Times bestselling author, and columnist
  • Sir Murray Louis Tyrrell KCVO, CBE (1913-1994), Official Secretary to the Governor General of Australia from 1947 to 1973
  • Professor Robert Yelverton Tyrrell (1844-1914), Irish classical scholar and poet
  • Joseph Burr Tyrrell (1858-1957), Canadian explorer and geologist, discoverer of the dinosaur Albertosaurus in Alberta in 1884, eponym of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta
  • George Tyrrell (1861-1909), Irish theologian
  • Robert Kenneth "Ken" Tyrrell (1924-2001), British Formula Two racing driver and the founder of the Tyrrell Formula One constructor


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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)

Other References

  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  7. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  8. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Tyrrell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tyrrell 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 30 May 2014 at 09:38.

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