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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


The origins of the Tyrrell surname date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a stubborn or obstinate person. The surname Tyrrell is derived from the Old French word tirer, which means to draw. This is used in the same sense as the word tirand, which means "one who pulls on the reins;" thus it may be that it was used as a nickname for a stubborn person, before coming to be used as a hereditary surname.

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The surname Tyrrell was first found in Essex where one of the first records of the name is Walter Tirel III, (1065-c. 1100), Castellan of Pontoise and Lord of Poix, son of Walter Tirell II. [1] He is remembered for his involvement in the death of King William II (William Rufus) on a hunting trip in the New Forest on August 2nd, 1100. Some say it was an accident when Walter shot an arrow at a stag which glanced from the beast and struck King William II, while others disagree. However, accordingly to chroniclers of the time, they parted at the beginning of the hunt on good terms, but the king was later found with one of the arrows given to Walter by the king in his chest. There is a stone in the Forest at Stoney Cross marking the spot where the King fell. Walter's grandson Hugh Tyrrel (died 1199) took part in the Norman Conquest of Ireland where he became the first Baron of Castleknock and later took part in the Third Crusade. Another distinct branch of the family was found at Gipping in Suffolk. "This place, which takes its name from the small river Gipping, is the property of C. Tyrell, Esq., whose ancestor, Sir Walter Tyrell, Knt., held the lordship at the time of the Domesday survey." [2]

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Tyrrell has been spelled many different ways, including Tyrell, Terrell, Terrill, Tyrill, Turrell, Tirell, Tyrrell and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tyrrell research. Another 251 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1423, 1450, 1502, 1502, 1597, 1676, 1661, 1676, 1617, 1701, 1643, 1718, 1642, 1718, 1623 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Tyrrell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 229 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tyrrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Tyrrell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Tyrrells to arrive in North America:

Tyrrell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • William Tyrrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1667

Tyrrell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Michael Tyrrell, who arrived in America in 1739

Tyrrell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Tyrrell, who arrived in New York in 1837
  • Bridget Tyrrell, who was on record in Pittsburgh in 1854

Tyrrell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Robert Tyrrell, who arrived at Halifax in 1749
  • Robert Tyrrell, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749

Tyrrell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • James Tyrrell, who came to Canada in 1827
  • James Tyrrell, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Sea Horse" from Galway
  • Mary Tyrrell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1836

Tyrrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Robert Tyrrell, a baker, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Reuben Tyrrell, aged 21, a shoemaker, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Stag"
  • Edwin Tyrrell arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolivar" in 1850
  • Thomas Tyrrell arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caroline Agnes" in 1850
  • James Tyrrell, aged 19, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion"


Tyrrell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Tyrrell landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • Walter Tyrrell, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873
  • Alfred Tyrrell, aged 19, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874

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  • Susan Tyrrell (1945-2012), born Susan Jillian Creamer, an American Academy Award nominated actress, known for her roles in Cry-Baby (1990), Powder (1995) and Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981)
  • William Tyrrell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1872
  • John F. Tyrrell, American Republican politician, Illinois Republican State Chair, 1937, 1945; Member of Illinois Republican State Central Committee, 1943
  • Francis X. Tyrrell, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1912, 1928; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 9th District, 1926
  • Chester W. Tyrrell, American Republican politician, First Selectman of Monroe, Connecticut, 1920-27; Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Monroe; Elected 1930
  • Emmett Tyrrell (b. 1943), American conservative magazine editor, New York Times bestselling author, and columnist
  • Mr. Frederick Levi Tyrrell (d. 1941), British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking
  • Robert Kenneth "Ken" Tyrrell (1924-2001), British Formula Two racing driver and the founder of the Tyrrell Formula One constructor
  • Sir Murray Louis Tyrrell KCVO, CBE (1913-1994), Official Secretary to the Governor General of Australia from 1947 to 1973
  • George Tyrrell (1861-1909), Irish theologian

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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Tyrrell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tyrrell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 April 2016 at 10:56.

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