Many of the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the Western world have Gaelic origins. The Irish Gaelic form of the name O'Freel is O Firgil, which later became O Frigil; the name means "man of valor."
Early Origins of the O'Freel family
The surname O'Freel 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 O'Freel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Freel research.Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1299, 1573 and 1538 are included under the topic Early O'Freel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Freel Spelling Variations
The scribes and church officials of the Middle Ages who recorded names in official documents spelled the names as they sounded. This led to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations and thus resembling more than one person. Among the many spelling variations
of the surname O'Freel that are preserved in archival documents of this era include Friel, Freel, O'Friel, O'Freel, Freiel, O'Freiel, Frehill and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Freel family (pre 1700)
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Freel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Freel family to the New World and Oceana
Irish emigration to North America began modestly in the late 18th century. At this time, Irish families
made the journey to British North America and the United States by choice and after careful consideration: they were primarily in search of a suitably large stretch of land to call their own. This pattern would change most dramatically during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. For example, the years 1825-1845 saw approximately 450,000 heading to British North America and 400,000 to the United States, but in 1847, at the height of the famine, it is estimated that more than 104,000 Irish immigrants went to British North America and more than 119,000 to the United States. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name O'Freel: 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.