From A Farrell Family History 1847-1977 by Mort Farrell (My Great Uncle)
Thomas Farrell was born in the county of Kilkenny Ireland. The name of the town is uncertain. Graiguenamanagh according to cousin Mary, But as the old church had burned down, she could find no trace of the family. I distinctly remember Dad saying a name beginning with Bally. It is my opinion that the town was about ten miles from where she was searching, Gowran, as it is called today, It was known years ago as BallyGawran.
Grandmother's name was Shee, before she married, a very respected name in county history.
Thomas Farrell studied law and at the time of departure from Ireland he was an assistant at law. But again, where? Kilkenny College seems likely the present building dates from 1780.
The one child born in Ireland was Uncle Pat, 1846 or 1847.
Previous to the disaster of the potato famine, there was considerable discontent in Ireland caused by the Absentee Landlord system. The older brother of Thomas, who seems to have been something of a rabble rouser moved around the country agitating for reform.
A group of malcontents including this brother came to town. Grandfather went to the village church and rang the bell calling the people to the meeting. The crown did not regard this lightly, branding both Farrell brothers as revolutionaries and indicted them to be hanged for treason.
Thomas, his wife and small son, his brother and a group of friends fled to the coast. There they managed to escape from the country in a fishing boat.
According to both Dad and Uncle Pat their mother told them that fifty years previous, in Napper Tandy's Revolution, 1798 the Farrell family had left Ireland under sail