Many of the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the Western world have Gaelic origins. The Irish Gaelic form of the name Freeiel is O Firgil, which later became O Frigil; the name means "man of valor."
Early Origins of the Freeiel family
The surname Freeiel was first found in County Donegal
(Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland
in the province of Ulster
, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times. The O'Firghil were descended from Eoghan, brother of St. Columcille. They were hereditary co-arbs of Kilmacrenan in County Donegal.
Early History of the Freeiel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Freeiel research.Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1299, 1573 and 1538 are included under the topic Early Freeiel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Freeiel Spelling Variations
Throughout the early history of this name, spellings of the surname in various records changed frequently largely due to the recorder's interpretation of how the name sounded at the time of the entry. Spelling variations
revealed in the search for the origin of the Freeiel family name include Friel, Freel, O'Friel, O'Freel, Freiel, O'Freiel, Frehill and many more.
Early Notables of the Freeiel family (pre 1700)
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Freeiel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Freeiel family to the New World and Oceana
Many Irish families
did not fare so well within the English-ruled Ireland
. Besides racial and religious discrimination, many families were renting out small tracts of farmland from absentee landowners at often unreasonable rates. Beginning in the late 18th century, moderately well off Irish families
decided to emigrate to British North America or the United States in order to own their own plot of land. A radical change occurred in the 1840s, however, with the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s. Up to this point, the island's population had been increasing rapidly and a steady demand over the years for grain crops had depleted soil. Two failed crops and one poor one caused widespread disease and starvation. Thousands boarded ships looking for opportunities elsewhere. North America welcomed them as a source of cheap labor required for the many industrial and infrastructure projects underway, and as a means to quickly occupy the western regions. Research into immigration and passenger ship lists indicates that people bearing the name Freeiel were among the earliest settlers to arrive in North America: Morris and Catherine O'Freiel (also spelled O'Friel) who settled in Augusta County, Virginia in 1740; William Friel landed in America in 1709 with his wife, son, and daughter.