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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

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


In the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Ferrell family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including 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 Ferrell research. Another 319 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1235 and 1248 are included under the topic Early Ferrell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


The 18th century saw the slow yet steady emigration of Irish families to British North America and the United States. Those early Irish settlers that left their homeland were typically moderately well off: they were enticed by the promise of a sizable plot of land. However, by the 1840s, this pattern of immigration was gone: immigrants to North America were seeking refuge from the starvation and disease that the Great Potato Famine of that decade brought. The great numbers of Irish that arrived to the United States and the soon to be Canada were instrumental in their quick development as powerful industrial nations. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists uncovered many early immigrants bearing the name Ferrell:

Ferrell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Katherine Ferrell settled in Virginia in 1649
  • Katherine Ferrell, who landed in Virginia in 1649
  • Hannah Ferrell, who landed in Maryland in 1678
  • Bridget Ferrell settled in Barbados in 1680

Ferrell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Ferrell, who arrived in New England in 1720
  • Homier Ferrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1749

Ferrell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Peter Ferrell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1840
  • John I Ferrell, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1847
  • James Ferrell, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1851
  • John Ferrell, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • William Ferrell, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1851


  • Conchata Galen Ferrell (b. 1943), American Emmy Award nominated actress
  • Wesley Cheek Ferrell (1908-1976), American Major League Baseball player
  • John William "Will" Ferrell (b. 1967), Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated American comedian, actor and writer
  • Richard Benjamin Ferrell (1905-1995), American Major League Baseball catcher
  • Mary Elizabeth McHughes Ferrell (1922-2004), American historian
  • Rachelle Ferrell (b. 1961), American singer and musician
  • Andrew Eric "Andy" Ferrell (b. 1984), English footballer


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. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  3. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Ferrell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ferrell 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 15 March 2015 at 19:10.

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