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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."


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

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.


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


  • 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


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. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  2. 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).
  3. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  9. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  10. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  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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