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Surname O'Farrel - Meaning and Origin

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

The last name O'Farrel is an Irish surname that originates from the Gaelic names O'Fearghail or O'Firghil. It is derived from the ancient Irish word for man, "fearghal", which translates to courageous or brave. It is the name of several ancient septs, or clans, throughout Ireland, primarily situated in County Limerick, County Cork and County Donegal. It is also found with some frequency in the Province of Ulster and County Down in the north of Ireland.

The O'Farrels are believed to be descended from Fearghal, King of Leinster, in the fifth century. There is a region known as O'Farrell's Country in County Longford, where the sept is believed to have originated. This area is marked by the barony of O'Farrell, which takes its name from the last chief of the clan to reign in the region in the 16th century.

Despite the passage of time, the O'Farrels remain an influential Catholic family in Ireland to this day. Their influence can be felt in both academic and public life. O'Farrels have served as High Sheriffs, landowners and prominent business figures.

The O'Farrels maintain a great history and cultural identity that has continued throughout the centuries. They continue to be a prominent and influential family throughout Ireland and beyond. While their origin may track back centuries, the O'Farrels remain as culturally significant today as they have been in centuries past.

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

The last name O'Farrel is most common in Ireland, with a significant number of individuals bearing this name living in the Republic of Ireland. In the 2011 Irish Census, it was the 189th most common name, with 4,362 individuals sharing it. As a result of past emigration, O'Farrell is also quite common in The United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia.

In the United States, the O'Farrell last name is the 3,362nd most common according to the 2020 US Census, with around 8,702 individuals using it. It is most prevalent in the states of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois, though individuals with this name can be found in all states.

In Canada, the last name is the 1,262nd most common, with 1,056 individuals sharing it according to the 2016 Canadian Census. The largest population of O'Farrell is found in the province of Ontario, followed closely by Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia.

O'Farrell is also prevalent in Australia, specifically in and around the states of South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, and New South Wales. In the 2016 Australian Census, over 3,450 individuals with the last name O'Farrell lived in the country.

Overall, the last name O'Farrell is most likely to be found in Ireland, followed closely by the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia.

Variations of the surname O'Farrel

The surname O’Farrel is an ancient Irish or Gaelic name and is associated with numerous variants, alternate spellings, and surnames from various origins.

The most common variants of the surname O’Farrel include O’Farrell, Farrell, Farrelly, Farrel, Pharrel, Farral, Fairell, Fairrell, MacFarlane, McFarlane, Farel, Varel, Farrelle, Farill, O'Fearghail, and O'Fearghal.

The surname O’Farrel also has various alternate spellings, including O'Farel, O'Farlal, O'Farrall, O'Ferrall, O'Ferral, O'Farral, O'Ferel, Farrall, Ferrall, Ferrill, Ferrel, Ferell, Parallel, and Pharel.

There are also many surnames of similar origin associated with the O’Farrel surname. This includes derivatives from multiple languages such as British, French, German, and Italian. These derivative surnames include Farrill, Forrello, Ferrulo, Ferraro, Ferrelli, Perrella, Ferrel, Ferrielli, Verrell, Verrelli, Ferrall, and MacFarlane.

When tracing its lineage, the surname O’Farrel is most closely related in Ireland to the Uí Fhearghail, a clan that was from Donegal. In Scotland, the surname is most closely associated with the MacFarlane clan, which also has variations of its name such as McFarlane, MacFarlan, MacPharlane, and MacFarland.

Once extensively spread over Ireland, O’Farrel is today primarily found throughout the western half of the country, as well as in the counties of Laois, Kilkenny, and Wicklow. It is also a common surname in Scotland, particularly in the Outer Hebrides.

Overall, the surname O’Farrel has numerous variants, alternate spellings, and surnames of similar origin. Those researching its roots can find variations from Irish, British, French, German, and Italian origins, as well as close familial ties to both Uí Fhearghail in Ireland and the MacFarlane clan in Scotland.

Famous people with the name O'Farrel

  • J. D. O’Farrell: An American entrepreneur and chief user experience designer at UX STRAT LLC.
  • Caitriona O’Farrell: Irish stage and television actress.
  • Rick O’Farrell: Australian actor, writer, director, and producer.
  • Rick O’Farrell: American voice actor.
  • Colm O’Farrell : Irish footballer who plays for UCD.
  • Ciaran O’Farrell: Professional Scottish footballer.
  • James O’Farrell: Australian broadcaster known as radio host of the “James O’Farrell and Friends” show.
  • Michael O’Farrell: Novelist and short-story writer from Limerick, Ireland.
  • Brendan O’Farrell: Noted American politician in the state of California.
  • Ray O’Farrell: Notable British author, singer, and guitarist.
  • Paul O’Farrell: British comedian, actor, and screenwriter.
  • Barney O’Farrell: Noted former professional NFL fullback.
  • Jody O’Farrell: American actor and writer.
  • Joe O’Farrell: Noted international dramaturg and playwright.
  • Jimmy O’Farrell: American professional soccer player for the Los Angeles. Galaxy.
  • Kenneth O’Farrell: Noted former professional baseball pitcher.
  • Patrick O’Farrell: Australian historian and author.
  • Kevin O’Farrell: Professional Canadian ice hockey player.
  • Trevor O’Farrell: Lead guitar player for the Australian progressive rock band, Unitopia.
  • Gerrard O’Farrell: Notable photographer and cinematographer born in Australia.

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