Friel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Many of the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the Western world have Gaelic origins. The Irish Gaelic form of the name Friel is O Firgil, which later became O Frigil; the name means "man of valor."
Early Origins of the Friel family
The surname Friel 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 Friel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Friel research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1299, 1573 and 1538 are included under the topic Early Friel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Friel Spelling Variations
Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Friel family name. Before widespread literacy, a person entrusted the proper documentation of his name to the individual scribe. As a result, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Variations found include Friel, Freel, O'Friel, O'Freel, Freiel, O'Freiel, Frehill and many more.
Early Notables of the Friel family (pre 1700)
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Friel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Friel is the 7,409th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 
| Friel migration to the United States ||+|
Ireland, as an English-controlled colony in the 19th century, suffered the loss of hundreds of thousands of its native people. The system of land ownership often did not sufficiently provide for the tenants who farmed the land. This was most clearly evidenced in the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Previous years of great demand for grain products and livestock had run the land down. Many landowners foreseeing an upcoming crisis often removed families from the land or forced them to rely on pitifully small plots where only a subsistence living could be made. When the famines of 1845, 46, and 48 hit, many had nothing. Disease and starvation became widespread and families boarded ships for elsewhere any way they could. Those who went to America were instrumental in developing the industrial power known today: many Irish were employed in hard labor positions in factories and in building the bridges, canals, roads, and railways necessary for a strong industrial nation. Research of early immigration and passenger lists has shown that many bearers of the name Friel:
Friel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- William Friel, who landed in America in 1709 with his wife, son, and daughter
Friel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Hugh Friel, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1849 
- C ^ Friel, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 
- Anthony Friel, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 
- William Friel, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County in 1876 
- Adam, Arthur, Barney, Bernard, Charles, Daniel, Dennis, Edward, Francis, Hugh, Humphry, James, Jeremiah, John, Joseph, Michael, Neal, Patrick, Thomas, and William Friel, all, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1836 and 1877
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
| Friel migration to Canada ||+|
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Friel Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- William Friel, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834
- Mary Friel, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Susan" in 1838
- Hugh Friel, aged 27, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Susan" in 1838
- Hugh Friel, aged 9 months, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Susan" in 1838
| Friel migration to Australia ||+|
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Friel Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- John Friel, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" 
| Friel 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:
Friel Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Bridget Friel, aged 23, a dressmaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
|Contemporary Notables of the name Friel (post 1700) ||+|
- Courtney Friel, American television anchor, reporter and presenter
- William G. Friel, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Kings County 13th District, 1954 
- James D. Friel, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1948 
- Mrs. James D. Friel, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1940 
- Ester Friel, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1944 
- Brian Patrick Friel (1929-2015), Northern Ireland two-time Tony award winning playwright and director, member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the British Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters.
- Tony Friel (b. 1958), British bass guitarist, known for his role in different new wave bands.
- Anna Louise Friel (b. 1976), British BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, Satellite Award, Saturn Award, Genie Award nominated actress
- Henry James Friel (1823-1869), Canadian politician, Mayor of Bytown in 1854 and then of Ottawa, Canada in 1863 and 1868-1869
- Stephen Friel Nuckolls (1825-1879), American Democratic Party politician, Merchant; Member of Nebraska territorial legislature, 1859; Delegate to U.S. Congress from Wyoming Territory, 1869-71;Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wyoming Territory, 1872 
- "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
- 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)
- South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARSHALL BENNETT 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marshallbennett1852.shtml
- The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 30) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, May 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html