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Surname O'Farell - Meaning and Origin

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O'Farell: What does the surname O'Farell mean?

The Irish surname O’Farrell originates from the ancient Gaelic ó Fearghail clan, which is believed to have been founded by Fearghal, who was descended from the legendary King Niall of the Nine Hostages. The O’Farrells were originally located in County Longford and most notably fought in the Siege of Limerick in 1691 and later at the Battle of Aughrim in 1691.

The surname itself is derived from the Gaelic word ‘fearghal’, which means “valor”. Over the centuries, the name has taken on numerous variations, primarily due to the varying dialects of the Irish people. Examples include Farrell, O’Farell, O’Farrell, Farrelly, MacFarrell, MacPharrell and MacFarlane.

Overall, the O’Farrell clan signifies strength, courage and loyalty, all traits that were highly valued in the past and are still held up as virtues in modern times. As descendants of the O’Farrell clan, family members may therefore take pride in the traditions and origins associated with the family surname, which is derived from the ancient Gaelic roots.

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O'Farell: Where does the name O'Farell come from?

The last name O'Farell is a traditional Irish surname (Ó Fearghail or Fearghaile in the Gaelic language) which is still common to be found in modern times, particularly in Ireland and the British Isles. The name is found predominantly in counties such as Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Tipperary, Leitrim, Offaly, Cavan, and Monaghan in Ireland, with Belfast in Northern Ireland being one of the most popularly listed locations. The name is also relatively common in Britain, with England being the location most likely for it to be found.

Furthermore, O’Farell is also commonplace in America, especially on the East Coast, particularly in states such as New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, with a fair number residing in the Midwest and the South, too. In addition, the name is also still common in Australia, Canada, and other English-speaking countries.

Given the wave of immigration in the 19th century, it is likely that the name is also featured in other countries and cultures. It is known that the name is common in Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and South Africa, with the name also being found in the United States.

O’Farell is also relatively common in the past, due to the fact that it’s been a widely used name since as early as the 14th century. The original family were known as ‘Fearghail’ which was then anglicised as ‘Farrell’ and eventually adopted as ‘O’Farrell’.

Variations of the surname O'Farell

The surname O'Farell is a patronymic form of the Irish surname Farrell. It is derived from the Gaelic Ó’Fearghail, meaning "descendant of Fearghal". This was a popular first name quite early, as it was adopted by numerous branches of the dominant Ua Neill dynasty, which ruled much of Ireland until the defeat of the last autochthonous High King of Ireland at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601.

Variants of the surname O’Farell include Ferrell, Farrell, Farley, O Farrell, O'Farrell, Farley, Farleigh, McFarlane, Farrelly, Farrell-Wrather, Fahy, Farrill, Fairlie, Farlee, and Farrel.

Historically, the O’ Farrell surname has been traced back to county Donegal in the north-west of Ireland. It is also prevalent in counties Wexford, Leitrim, Cavan, Mayo, and Galway.

Spellings of the surname O’Farrell have included O'Farrell, OFerrell, O'Ferrall, O’Ferrall, Farally, Pharrell, Farell, and Pharrell.

The surname Farrell and its derivatives are typically Anglicised versions of the original Gaelic O’Farrell. These variations in spelling frequently occurred due to the lack of any set of standard rules defining proper spelling in the late medieval to the early 19th century periods.

Famous people with the name O'Farell

  • Colin O'Farrell: American actor.
  • Margaret O'Farrell: American writer.
  • Mark O'Farrell: Canadian sound engineer.
  • Dave O'Farrell: Irish writer and producer.
  • Krystal O'Farrell: English actress.
  • Don O'Farrell: American screenwriter and director.
  • Paul O'Farrell: American visual effects artist.
  • Tara O'Farrell: Irish actress.
  • Mairéad O'Farrell: Irish actress and writer.
  • Patrick O'Farrell: Australian historian and author.
  • Sean O'Farrell: Irish actor.
  • Julie O'Farrell: Irish actress.
  • John O'Farrell: British comedian, author and screenwriter.
  • Patrick O'Farrell: Irish-born American research astronomer.
  • William O'Farrell: American politician and diplomat.
  • Matthew O'Farrell: American actor.
  • Ken O'Farrell: American baseball coach.
  • Liam O'Farrell: Irish actor.
  • Gina O'Farrell: American singer-songwriter.
  • John O'Farrell: British political commentator, broadcaster, and author.

Other surnames

O BoeyO BoweÓ CanainnO CarrollO ConaillÓ ConchobhairÓ CuinÓ CuinnÓ DaimhínÓ DálaighO DalyÓ DómhnaillÓ DonnchadhaÓ DubhdaraÓ DuibhínÓ DuibhirO DuireO DuvireÓ FeoreO FlanaganÓ FuereÓ FureyÓ FuryO GaraO GuineyO GuinidheO GuinyeO HanlonÓ HANNÁINO Hart

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