What is the origin of the last name Farrell?

The last name Farrell is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic personal name "Fearghal", meaning 'man of valor' or 'courageous'. The name was commonly anglicized to Farrell during the 17th and 18th centuries, reflecting the phonetic approximation of the Irish Gaelic pronunciation. With a rich history in Ireland, the name Farrell can be traced back to various clans and families across the country, particularly in the provinces of Ulster and Leinster.

Countries of origin for the last name Farrell

The last name Farrell is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic word “fearghal,” which means “man of valor.” The name originated as a patronymic, meaning it was based on the name of the father or ancestor. In this case, the surname indicates that the person was the son of Fearghal or a descendant of someone named Fearghal.

The surname Farrell is primarily found in Ireland, particularly in the provinces of Leinster, Ulster, and Connacht. It is most prevalent in counties Longford, Westmeath, Cavan, and Offaly. The name migrated to other parts of the world, including the United States, due to Irish emigration during various periods of history.

In the United States, the name Farrell is fairly common but not as widely used as some other Irish surnames. It is most commonly found in states with significant Irish-American populations, such as New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois. The original Irish spelling of the name, “Ó Fearghail,” is sometimes used as well.

The Farrell family has a rich history, with notable individuals contributing to various fields. One example is George Arthur Farrell, an American architect known for his designs in the Gothic Revival style. Another notable figure is Bernie Farrell, an Irish Gaelic footballer who played for the Mayo county team.

Etymologically, the surname Farrell has connections to the broader family of names derived from the Gaelic word “fear,” meaning “man.” Other common surnames derived from this root are Ferguson, Fitzgerald, MacFhearain, and MacFerran. These surnames all share a common ancestral heritage, indicating a close linguistic and cultural connection.

Overall, the surname Farrell has a distinct Irish origin and is closely tied to the Gaelic language and culture. Its meaning, “man of valor,” suggests a heritage of bravery and strength. The name has spread beyond Ireland, finding a place in various parts of the world, including the United States. The history and significance of the surname provide a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Irish identity and heritage.

While the known facts about the Farrell surname provide valuable insights into its origin and meaning, there may still be aspects and nuances that remain undiscovered. Further research and exploration could potentially uncover additional layers of historical and cultural significance. The story of the Farrell name continues to evolve, offering a never-ending journey of discovery and understanding.

Interesting facts about the last name Farrell

  • The surname Farrell is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic name “Ó Fearghail,” which means “man of valor.”
  • The Farrell clan is descended from the ancient kings of Ireland, particularly from the kingdom of Oriel in Ulster.
  • The name Farrell has different variations and spellings, including O’Farrell, Farrelly, and Ferrell.
  • Many Farrells emigrated from Ireland during the Great Famine in the 19th century, seeking better opportunities in the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries.
  • In Ireland, the county Longford is often associated with the Farrell surname, as it was historically a stronghold of the clan.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Farrell include actor Colin Farrell, known for his roles in movies such as “In Bruges” and “The Lobster.”
  • The Farrell coat of arms features a red shield with a silver chevron and three black lions’ heads.
  • Farrell is a relatively common surname in English-speaking countries, and its popularity is also attributed to the widespread Irish diaspora.
  • The meaning of the surname, “man of valor,” reflects the historical significance and reputation of the Farrell clan as warriors and protectors.

Name Rank


There are around 52321 people with the last name Farrell in the US

Related Names

Related Regions