Ó FEARGHAIL

AuthorRev Patrick Woulfe
Date1923
SourceIrish Names and Surnames

Ó FEARGHAIL—IO Ferrall, O'Farrell, Farrell, Ferrall, Farrahill, Frahill, Fraul; 'descendant of Fearghal' (super-valour); the name of several distinct families, of which the best known are the O'Farrells of Annaly, in the present Co. Longford, of which they were for many centuries the ruling race. The head of the family resided at the town of Longford, which was formerly known as Longphort Ui Fhearghail, or O'Farrell's fortress. In later times, the O'Farrells divided into two great branches, the heads of which were known respectively as O'Farrell Boy, the yellow O'Farrell, and O'Farrell Bane, the fair O'Farrell. The O'Farrells maintained their independence as a clan down to the year 1565, when Annaly was reduced to shire ground by the lord-deputy, Sir Henry Sidney. Though suffering severely from the plantation schemes of James I, the O'Farrells were able to take a prominent part in all the political and military movements of the 17th century, and many of them were afterwards distinguished officers in the Irish brigades in the service of France. This family is now very numerous. Other families of this name were seated in Wicklow and Tyrone. The name is also written Ó Fearghaile and Ó Firghil, which see, and sometimes, by the aspiration of the initial f, changed into Ó hEarghail, Ó hEarghaile, which see.

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