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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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

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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.


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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.

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

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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

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  • John H. Ferrell (1829-1900), American civilian employee of the Union Navy during the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor, one of civilians to have received the medal
  • Wesley Cheek "Wes" Ferrell (1908-1976), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1927 to 1976
  • Richard Benjamin "Rick" Ferrell (1905-1995), American Major League Baseball catcher who played from 1929 to 1947 and later a scout and general manager with the Detroit Tigers, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Conchata Galen Ferrell (b. 1943), American Emmy Award nominated actress, best known for playing Berta the housekeeper for all 12 seasons of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men
  • Rachelle Ferrell (b. 1961), American singer and musician
  • Mary Elizabeth McHughes Ferrell (1922-2004), American historian
  • John William "Will" Ferrell (b. 1967), Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated American comedian, actor and writer
  • Andrew Eric "Andy" Ferrell (b. 1984), English footballer


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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. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  10. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  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 30 January 2016 at 12:09.

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