O'Farrell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The O'Farrell surname comes from the Irish Gaelic name O Fearghail, which means "man of valor."

Early Origins of the O'Farrell family

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

Early History of the O'Farrell family

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

O'Farrell Spelling Variations

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the O'Farrell family name include Ferrell, Farrell, O'Ferrall, O'Farrell, Farrelly, Fraleigh, Frawley, Frahill and many more.

Early Notables of the O'Farrell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early O'Farrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada O'Farrell migration to Canada +

In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of O'Farrell:

O'Farrell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John O'Farrell, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Sea Horse" in 1833

Australia O'Farrell migration to Australia +

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

O'Farrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James O'Farrell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Bronte" in 1849 [1]
  • Kate O'Farrell, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Taymouth Castle" [2]

New Zealand O'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:

O'Farrell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. O'Farrell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Prince of Wales" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 3rd January 1843 [3]
  • William O'Farrell, aged 22, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Accrington" in 1863
  • Miss Annie O'Farrell, (b. 1856), aged 17, Irish tailoress from County Cork travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Surat" going to Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand in 1873, the ship sunk at the Catlins River all the passengers were transported to Dunedin via various rescure vessels [3]
  • Thomas O'Farrell, aged 23, a ploughman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • Patrick O'Farrell a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name O'Farrell (post 1700) +

  • Jasper O'Farrell (1817-1875), Irish-born, American surveyor and politician, first surveyor of San Francisco
  • Robert Arthur "Bob" O'Farrell (1896-1988), American Major League Baseball player
  • Thomas R. O'Farrell, American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Carroll County, 1959-65; Member of Maryland State Senate from Carroll County, 1965-66 [4]
  • Francis "Frank" O'Farrell (b. 1927), former Irish soccer player and manager
  • Talbot O'Farrell (1878-1952), stage name of William Parrot, an English music hall singer and film actor
  • Maggie O'Farrell (b. 1962), British novelist from Northern Ireland, known for her book The Hand That First Held Mine won the 2010 Costa Novel Award
  • Patrick O'Farrell (1933-2003), New Zealand-born, Australian Roman Catholic historian
  • Maureen O'Farrell, British actress
  • John O'Farrell (b. 1962), British author, broadcaster and comedy script writer
  • Barry O'Farrell (b. 1959), Australian politician


The O'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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DUKE OF BRONTE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849DukeOfBronte.htm
  2. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 4th May 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Taymouth Castle 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/taymouthcastle1854.shtml.
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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