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Family name
Pronunciation FAIR ell
Meaning presumably "man of valor"
Region of origin Ireland
Related names Ferrel, Ferrell, Ferrill, Ferroll, Farrell, Farrelly.

Ferrell is a surname of Irish origin which comes from the Irish Ó Fearghail.[1] Although there is some speculation of the exact definition, the original Irish Gaelic spelling is Ó Fearghail, and is most commonly believed to mean "Man of Valor."
The English pronunciation of the name is different, and has many different spellings. Some of which has been falsely attributed to the urban legend of some "common mistakes made by employees of Ellis Island Immigration". This legend claims that immigration employees where not accustomed to ask one the spelling of a common name, but simply wrote it down as it was perceived to be spelled. This could not have happened in this case, as the name Ferrell (and its variants) were very well known in American history (and court records) by the year 1890 when the first Federal Immigration Station was founded on Ellis Island .

The Ferrell surname documentation in America extends to at least the year 1701 A.D. in a ships passenger list of a Jane Ferril (1701) arriving in New York.

Ferrell (Farrell, Ferril, Ferrel, et al.) was a common name in the American regions of Virginia and North Carolina by the 1730s. There were many Ferrell patriots in the American Revolution, the rosters of the "Southern Campaigns of The American Revolution" list at least a dozen southern patriot Ferrell surnames (and variants) serving from 1775-1783. The Daughters Of The American Revolution (DAR) list many revolutionary war period Ferrell surnames in their hereditary documents, and even as names of their DAR Local Chapters.

The surname Ferrell, Ferrel, Ferril (et al.) is also very abundant in the rosters of both the Union and Confederate States Armies of 1861-1865.

The English spelling (aka: anglicised )of the Ferrell, Ferrel, Farrell, Farrel, Ferroll, Ferrill, Ferril, Farrelly, Fraleigh, Frawley, Frahill as well as many others can be found in land and court records from England and America as far back in time as at least the late 16th century.

Ferrell may refer to:

See also[edit]