Many of the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the Western world have Gaelic origins. The Irish Gaelic form of the name Frehill is O Firgil, which later became O Frigil; the name means "man of valor."
Early Origins of the Frehill family
The surname Frehill 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 Frehill family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Frehill research.Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1299, 1573 and 1538 are included under the topic Early Frehill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Frehill Spelling Variations
Many different spelling variations
of the surname Frehill were found in the archives researched. These included Scribes and church officials generally spelled a name as it sounded; as a result, a person's name could be spelt innumerable ways in his lifetime. Friel, Freel, O'Friel, O'Freel, Freiel, O'Freiel, Frehill and many more.
Early Notables of the Frehill family (pre 1700)
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Frehill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Frehill family to the New World and Oceana
The 19th century brought a massive reduction in Ireland's population. It seemed that during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s the Irish people had two options: starve or immigrate. Those that chose the later frequently headed for the United States, hopeful for land, work, and equality. Those determined for free land joined the migration west; while others stayed behind to live in urban centers and often work in factories. Still others began a transitory life in work camps, building the bridges, canals, railways, and highways so critical to the rapidly development of the growing industrial nation. Early passenger and immigration lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Frehill: 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.