Show ContentsFarrell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Farrell surname comes from the Irish Gaelic name O Fearghail, which means "a valiant warrior." [1]

Early Origins of the Farrell family

The surname Farrell was first found in Leinster, where they were found mainly in County Longford.

Feargal, Prince of Annaly appears number 105 on the "Line of Ir" descendants. Ir was the fifth son of Milesius of Spain. This Feargal was slain fighting on the aide of Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. However, some writers doubt this claim.

From this progenitor, rose O'Farrell Ban, O'Farrell of Rathline, O'Farrell, the Chiefs of Clanhugh, O'Farrell of Mugh Treagha, O'Farrell of Kenagh and O'Farrell, Chiefs of Clanawley. [1]

Early History of the Farrell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Farrell research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1235, 1248 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Farrell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Farrell Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Farrell family

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Jean François Ferrel, a musician in Paris about the middle of the 17th century, wrote a small pamphlet 'A savoir que les maistres de dance, qui sont de vrays maistres larrons à...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Farrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Farrell World Ranking

In the United States, the name Farrell is the 658th most popular surname with an estimated 44,766 people with that name. [2] However, in Canada, the name Farrell is ranked the 545th most popular surname with an estimated 8,969 people with that name. [3] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Farrell is the 114th popular surname with an estimated 306 people with that name. [4] Australia ranks Farrell as 318th with 11,148 people. [5] New Zealand ranks Farrell as 411st with 1,599 people. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Farrell as 384th with 16,670 people. [7]


United States Farrell migration to the United States +

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 United States in the 17th Century
  • Simon Farrell, aged 19, British settler who arrived in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Abraham" [8]
  • Mr. Edmond Farrell, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Safety" arriving in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • Garrett Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [8]
  • Alexander Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1656 [8]
  • Tho Farrell, who landed in Virginia in 1657 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Farrell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Margaret Farrell, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Margaret Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Frances Farrell, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Marquess Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [8]
  • Honour Farrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Farrell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Farrell, aged 3, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [8]
  • Thomas Farrell, aged 23, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [8]
  • Eliz Farrell, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [8]
  • Flizabeth Farrell, aged 22, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [8]
  • Payton Farrell, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Farrell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. William J. Farrell, (b. 1884), aged 21, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Mohawk, Michigan, USA [10]

Canada Farrell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Farrell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Patrick Farrell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Richard Farrell, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Farrell, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Mr. William Farrell U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [11]
Farrell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Daniel John Farrell, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1807
  • John Farrell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1810
  • Mary Holleran Farrell, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1817
  • William Farrell, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • Jane Farrell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1827
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Farrell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Farrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Laurence Farrell, Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Miss Sarah Farrell, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Miss Anne Farrell, (b. 1788), aged 21, Irish convict who was convicted in County Meath, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 21st January 1809, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Miss Margaret Farrell, Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 21st January 1809, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Thomas Farrell, Irish miner who was convicted in County Roscommon, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" on 5th December 1814, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Farrell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Farrell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Farrell, Australian settler travelling from Port Phillip Bay, Victoria aboard the ship "Earl Stanhope" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 [16]
  • Mr. John Farrell, British settler referred to as the Parkhurst Boys travelling from London aboard the ship "Mandarin" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th November 1843, he had been taught trades and pardoned to live in New Zealand [16]
  • Samuel Farrell, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1843
  • Mr. Byran Farrell, British settler, as the 2nd Detachment of New Zealand Corps of Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Minerva" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1847 [16]
  • Miss Mary Farrell, (b. 1837), aged 23, British domestic servant travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1860 [16]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Farrell (post 1700) +

  • Colin James Farrell (b. 1976), Irish two-time Golden Globe award, Academy Award nominated actor from Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland, known for The Lobster (2015), S.W.A.T. (2003), The Batman (2022) and many more
  • 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) [17]
  • Judy Farrell (1938-2023), née Hayden, an American actress, best know for her role as Nurse Able on the television comedy series M*A*S*H, wife of actor Mike Farrell
  • Ben Farrell (1946-2022), American concert promoter who was best known for promoting Garth Brooks
  • Peggy Farrell (1932-2021), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award winning costume designer, known for her work on Dog Day Afternoon, Gloria, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, Desperate Characters, They All Laughed, The Stepford Wives, The Hot Rock and The Front
  • Herman D. Farrell III (1932-2018), American Democratic Party politician, Member of the New York State Assembly (1975-2017) [18]
  • Sadie Farrell (b. 1869), American criminal, gang leader and river pirate known under the pseudonym Sadie the Goat
  • Robert E. "Bob" Farrell (1927-2015), American motivational speaker, author, and founder of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant in 1963 which by 1975 had 120 locations
  • Major-General Thomas Francis Farrell (1891-1967), American Deputy Supervisor Manhattan Project (1945-1946) [19]
  • Lieutenant-General Francis William Farrell (1900-1981), American Commanding General 7th Army (1959-1960) [20]
  • ... (Another 86 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Frank Rock Slide
  • Mr. Charles Farrell, Canadian miner working in the town of Frank, Alberta who survived the Frank Rock Slide on 29th April 1903 [21]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Jonas  Farrell (1853-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion (1917) but later died due to injuries [22]
  • Mrs. Johanna  Farrell (1865-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [22]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Henry William Farrell, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [23]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Robert Farrell (1919-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [24]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. John Farrell, English Fireman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [25]
RMS Titanic
  • 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 [26]


The Farrell Motto +

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.


  1. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  3. "Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps - Forebears." Forebears, https://forebears.io/surnames
  4. The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  5. "Most Common Last Names in Australia." Forebears, https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. "Most Common Last Names in New Zealand." Forebears, https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. "UK surname ranking." UK Surname map, https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved October 5th 2021 from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm
  10. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  11. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  12. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  13. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  14. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd June 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/experiment
  15. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  16. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  17. Michael Farrell. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Michael Farrell. Retrieved from http://www.mikefarrell.org/
  18. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  19. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, February 29) Thomas Farrell. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Farrell/Thomas_Francis/USA.html
  20. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, February 29) Francis Farrell. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Farrell/Francis_William/USA.html
  21. Calgary Herald news article retrieved 11th August 2021. Retrieved from https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Calgary_Herald_Thu__Apr_30__1903_-copy-scaled.jpg
  22. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  23. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  24. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  25. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  26. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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