Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2000-02 > 0949700987
From: Mac McCutchan <>
Subject: Re: Bells Book of Ulster Names
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 16:49:47 -0500
Charlotte (in San Jose) has requested lookups in Bell on the following
surnames: Rule, Moffitt with variations in spelling, Torrens,
Freebairn and Thompson.
RULE: Does not appear in Bell's book, indicating it's not among the 500
most frequently occurring surnames in Ulster. Also not in Hanna's list
of children born in ireland in 1890, frequently a source of good
information on Ulster surnames. This confirms it's rare, not only in
Ulster but also in Ireland.
The name is Scottish in origin, taken from the lands of Rule, now
included in the parish of Hobkirk, Roxburghshire (this from Black's
Surnames of Scotland). The name was originally "de Rule", and occurs
repeatedly as witnesses to charters between 1214 and 1249. The "de"
prefix was dropped toward the end of the 15th century; the name is also
frequently spelled ROULE and ROULL (but doesn't appear in Bell's book in
any of these spellings.
Incidentally, there is a Rule/Ruyle surname website at:
It might be worth investigating (I haven't).
TORRENS: No mention in Bell's Book of Ulster Surnames, so it's not
among the 500 most frequently occurring surnames in Ulster. Also not in
Black's Surnames of Scotland, suggesting the name isn't Scottish.
Hanna's "The Scotch-Irish", volume 2, does list it, in one place only -
the list of children born in 1890. In 1890, there were nine babies
named Torrens born in all of Ireland; all nine were in Ulster; and most
of these were in County Antrim. And that's all I know - I would guess
that the name might be English, but I lack resources on English
FREEBAIRN: Doesn't appear in Bell's book. The name is Scottish in
origin, and has been noted there in various locations since 1150.
Alternate spellings include Freeburn, Freeborn, Freburn, Freborn and
others. Hanna's list of babies born in Ireland in 1890 includes no
Freebairns, but nine Freeburns were born, all in Ulster, mostly in
Antrim, in 1890.
Will get back to you on Moffitt later.
|Re: Bells Book of Ulster Names by Mac McCutchan <>|