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Surname:  O'Farrell
Branch:  O'Farrell
Origins:  Irish
More Info:  Ireland

Background:  The name O'Farrell in Ireland is derived from the native Gaelic O'Fearghail Sept who dominated the region of County Longford. This name is among the fifty most frequently found in Ireland and it is in the Province of Leinster that the majority of descendants can still be found.

Motto:  Cu Reabtha, The Rampaging Dog.
Arms:  Vert, a lion, rampant, or.
Crest:  On a ducal coronet a greyhound courant gorged with a collar, to which is affixed by a broken chain suspended over him, a regal crown all ppr.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

Farrell, with and without the prefix O, is a well known name in many parts of the country and it stands thirty-fifty in the statistical returns showing the hundred commonest names in Ireland. It is estimated that there are over thirteen thousand of the name in Ireland: the great majority of these were born in Leinster, mainly in Co. Longford and the surrounding areas. This is as might be expected for the great O Fearghaill (O'Farrell or O'Ferrall) sept was of Annaly in Col Longford. The chief to the sept, known as Lord of Annaly, resided at Longphuirt Ui Fhearghaill (I.e. O'Farrell's fortress), hence the name of the town and county. So important were they that references to them in the "annals of the Four Masters" occupy more than seven columns of the index to that monumental work. There were two branches of the sept, the chiefs of which were distinguished as O'Farrell Boy (buidhe, I.e. yellow) and O'Farrell Bane (ban, I.e white or fair). There were a number of distinguished churchmen of the name, of whom the Capuchin Father Richard O'Farrell (c. 1615-1663), of Annaly, was perhaps the most notable. Notwithstanding the misfortunes which befell the great Gaelic families through the conquests and confiscations of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the O'Farrells of Annaly were not entirely submerged and many of them took a worthy part in Irish resistance to English aggression. Three sons of Ceadagh O'Ferrall or Annaly, who was killed at the Battle of the Boyne in 1691, greatly distinguished themselves as officers of the Irish Brigade in the service of France. The family settled in Picardy. Later on in the political field Richard More O'Ferrall (1797-1880) was prominent supporter of Daniel O'Connell. Sir Thomas Farrell (1827-1900) was a noted sculptor, many of whose statues adorn the city of Dublin. The compiler of one of the best known Irish genealogical manuscripts, "Linea Antiqua" (1709) now in the Genealogical Office, Dublin, was Roger O'Ferrall.

Name Variations:  O'Farrell, Farrell, O'Ferall, Ferall, Ferrell, O'Ferrell, Farrelly, Fraleigh, Frawley, Frahill.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins; Edward MacLysaght - 1957.
The Surnames of Ireland; Edward MacLynsaght - 1957.

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