As my maternal grandfather was for years a complete brick wall in my search for my family origins I have perhaps overly emphasized the life of James Ray Farrell.  He was many things to many people.  Like most of us not all good and certainly not all bad.  The early few glimpses I had of his interesting life turned into a virtual flood of information thanks to those named below.  

This page prepared with much help by a wonderful group of cousins (and one uncle)  including Don Wallace, Nancy Langridge Parkin, James Ralph Farrell, Jonathan Farrell, Juanita Farel Cunningham, Mary Sampson Lund, Norm Farrell, Riley Farrell, Ted Farrell and my mother Hazel Rae Farrell Judd.   Errors and omissions are my own responsibility and please let me know Mike Judd.

Origins of Mr. James Ray Farrell as follows:  He is believed to have been born 5 Aug.  1888 (per family bible and parents marraige in 1885) in Maysville, Benton County, Arkansas.  Sisters were Myrtle Inez (1886-1906) [see Mary Lund], Florence Ethel (1890 - 1930) [see Don Wallace] & Mandy Ellen (1893 - 1939) and brother Clarence FARRELL (1900 - 1923).  James Ray FARRELL died March 31, 1974 in Washoe County, Nevada. He had lived his final years in Verdi Nevada and had his ashes scattered in the Red Rock Canyon. 

In addition to the families listed below it is possible that he also had a family in the Reno area.

Father --  James Riley FARRELL b September 1861 in Springdale Township, Washington County Arkansas died April 27, 1906 in Maysville Arkansas.  He married June 7, 1885
Mother -- Darkatie Catherine (Katie) SMITH b March 6, 1867 in Springdale Township, Washington County Arkansas, died July 12 1941 in San Diego, CA

          James Riley FARRELL ca 1898 Katie Smith and her children

Photos above show James Riley FARRELL about 1898 in Springdale, AR.  Katie Smith is pictured about the same time with her children James Ray, Myrtle Inez, Florence Ethel, and (Amanda) Ellen.

James Riley FARRELL's parents were James Ray FARRELL b November 4, 1821 Wabash, IN, d September 11, 1886 Springdale Township, AR who ca 1846 married Cynthia MCGINNIS b May 7, 1821 d December 26, 1893. Both are buried in the Friendship Cemetery in Springdale, AR.  Their origins are unknown at this time.  Mr. FARRELL may have been the offspring of one of two brothers who left Ireland and settled in Tennessee.  Ms MCGINNIS's origins are also unknown.

Children of James Ray FARRELL and Cynthia MCGINNIS were Rachel (1848), Nancy (1852), Susan (1853), John Milford (1857), another daughter name unknown & James Riley (1861).  Descendants of John Milford Farrell have also contributed to the gathering of family history information

The parents of Darkatie Catherine (Katie) SMITH were George Washington SMITH b December 12, 1842 in Blountsville, Sullivan County, TN d April 16, 1928 in Chetopa, Cherokee County, KS.  During the US Civil War Mr. Smith served between 24 Jun 1862 and 3 Aug. 1865 in Co "B" Regiment Arkansas Calvary Volunteers first as private and then as corporal.  At the time of his enlistment he was described as being 5' 10" tall, light complexion, light blue eyes & sandy colored hair.  He later settled in Washington County Arkansas where on January 29, 1865 he married Amanda BOYD in Fayettville.   She was born in December of 1843 in Washington County, AR and died April 27, 1912.  Both are buried in the Friendship Cemetery in Springdale, AR. 

G W Smith and Amanda Boyd Smith GAR record
GW Smith family ca 1890

Pictured above are George Washington SMITH with his wife Amanda Boyd SMITH and then again about 1890 with their family Back Row: (left to right)  Mary (16), Alma (12), Nancy (18), Calvin (19), Lucinda (25), Florence Ethel Farrell (<1 held by mother, born Aug. 1890), Katie (23), Lydia (14)
Front Row:   (left to right)   Alexander (7), Lee (9), George W (47), Frankie (3), Amanda (46), Myrtle Inez Farrell (4), James R Farrell (2)

G W Smith obit 1928

We continue to search for the parents or siblings of George Washington SMITH.  Ms BOYD's parents were Willis BOYD b April 2, 1808 in McMinnville, Warren County, TN who ca 1843 married Lucinda WALDRIP b August 10, 1817 in KY and d July 16, 1896.  They are also buried at the Friendship Cemetery.  Willis BOYD's father was William BOYD JR. b ca 1783 in NC d October 12, 1853 in Washington County, AR .  His father was William BOYD b August 11, 1763 in Southampton, VA and d ca 1838 in Washington County, AR.

James Ray Farrell undertook an interesting if unconventional life.  He apparently traveled to Alaska for the first time at age 9 with his 'uncle Will'.  He married three or more times and was an avid hunter and explorer.  He was particularly attracted to Alaska where he mined gold deposits with some success.  He worked as a guide for wealthy hunters who sought Alaskan big game. Between 1920 and 1926 he was co-owner and operator of the Olympic Fruit Company in Seattle.  A few years later found him working in sales for Realty Syndicate Company in San Francisco.  He moved frequently during his lifetime and appears to have housed a restless spirit that sought new experiences.  He may have been many things to many people but boring or bored did not appear to fit into his repertoire.  He was a contract hunter supplying meat to workers building the Alaska RR and also wrote for the magazine Outdoor Life for several years describing his adventures.

James is pictured with his mother Katie and then on a hunting trip for Pronghorn Antelope somewhere in the West about 1940. 

JR Farrell with Katie his mother about 1940 out West

James Ray Farrell married at least three times.

I.  His first wife was Gertie WILHELM b August 3, 1890 in Noel, McDonald County MO which is not far to the north of Washington County, AR.  They were married  December 6, 1907 in Denver.  They divorced about 1912 or 1913. 

Their one child was James Ray FARRELL JR. b 1910 in Grassman, Wallowa County, OR.  J R FARRELL JR. served as a diesel mechanic in the Canadian merchant marine in WW II  He married Isabell MAHOOD in 1938 in British Columbia..  Mr. FARRELL passed on in 1985 in British Columbia.  He is pictured here first with his three sons James Riley, Edward (Ted) and Norman Ray FARRELL

Ray Farell with Riley, Norm and Ted

James Ray FARRELL JR. with wife Isabel and granddaughter Heather.

Ray with Isabell and Heather

Isabel Mahood Farrell with sons Ted and Riley in 2002.  Further information on this line via Ted Farrell or Riley Farrell in beautiful British Columbia.

Isabell with Ted and Riley

II.  James Ray FARRELL married second  Frances Isabelle RICHARDSON who grew up in Park City, Utah where her father and mother ran a successful mortuary business around the turn of the 20th century. She moved with them to a 60 acre ranch near Payette, Canyon Co., Idaho around 1910. (Her older brother William Daniel RICHARDSON took over the Richardson Mortuary.) The ranch was on what is termed the Fruitland Bench, a fertile plateau above the Snake River across from Ontario, OR where Jake and Sarah grew apples and other crops. Frances married James Ray FARRELL on 25 March 1913.  Here he is pictured about 1913 in Idaho.

James Ray Farell and Frances Richardson

Daughter: Hazel Rae FARRELL married Herbert Charles JUDD in  1936 in Boise, Ada County Idaho.  They enjoyed years of camping, exploration and nature study.  They were active in the Portland Audubon Society and traveled throughout the West.  There are actually few photos available as most of the family photos were taken by Hazel using a 3-D camera obtained when she worked for Sawyer's View Master near Portland.

Herb & Hazel

Thanks to the efforts of Herb's late brother Douglas Ray JUDD of Canterbury, England their own JUDD line is pretty well put together back to the 1500's in England. Present theory is that these folk may have descended from the Jutes who invaded Britain in the 4th and 5th centuries.  I guess everyone has to come from somewhere, eh? :-)  Actually I have just participated in the National Geographic Genographic Project.  My results show membership in the Haplogroup I (M170) which geographically maps out of Africa and into the locale of present day Hungary and environs.  And no, I don't fully understand those results but am eager to see more results as they are reported in to the National Geographic.

Frances later married Bert Carson in Oregon

Frances and Bert

Isabel Mahood FARRELL met Hazel Rae Farrell JUDD in Portland on the occasion of Hazel's 90th birthday in 2004.  Isabel gave Hazel the framed photograph of James Ray FARRELL JR. the older brother she had never known.

Hazel & Isabell 4/2004

III James Ray FARRELL married third Gertrude (Handsted) RANES a young lady who emigrated from Norway.  She worked as a photographer in Juneau Alaska where they met.  They were married in Seattle in March 1917 where two of their children were born, Denny having been born in nearby Stanwood.  Gertrude and Denny are pictured next about 1919

Gertrude & Denny ca 1919

The next  picture shows James Ray Farrell with his son James FARRELL Jr. at age 15 (from his first marriage in 1907 to Gertie WILHELM). and three children from his (third) marriage to Ms Ranes above (Denny, Iris and Ralph) -- thought to be in Seattle about 1925.

James Ray Farrell in Portland about 1923 with his first son James Fay Jr (13) and later children Denny, Eileen and Ralph
Another shot likely from the same period and place with sons Denny, Ralph and Ray (L>R).

With sons Dennis Ralph & Ray

'Ralph' above,  AKA James Ralph FARRELL says he likely inherited the wanderlust gene from his father.  Like his father he traveled throughout California as a young man first exploring all of San Francisco by foot.  Later on at the ripe old age of nine he 'caught' a train with a class mate and  rode  the open box car all the way to Colton before being discovered by authorities!  Yet he says he returned to welcoming parents.  He figured his father just could not punish a son who fell prey to wanderlust like himself.  The family moved from Seattle where Ralph was born to San Francisco not long after the above picture was taken and stayed there until 1930 when they moved to San Diego for four years and then back to San Francisco. During the 1930's Ralph joined his father searching for gold in Nevada and Northern California.   Ralph signed up for the Army Air Corps the day after Pearl Harbor and flew B-29's from Saipan as Aircraft Commander.  He was recalled to duty in 1951 and retired as L/Col.  His duty stations included Greenland, France and Japan.  He is pictured here about 1952 on duty at St. John's, Newfoundland.

St. John's  

Ralph was fortunate early on to meet, court and marry Doris 'Dee' Bostrup and enjoyed life together with their family until her passing in 2004.

Ralph Dee Xmas 98

Recall now the sister Iris in the 1925 Seattle picture.   She is pictured here  with  her  sister in law Dee at a family celebration.

Dee & Iris  
Iris married
this good looking sailor Jesse Langridge during World War II

Jesse Iris


A strong union man who raised a great family with his wife.

Iris Jesse  

James Ray Farrell was said to spend more than a little time near roulette wheels.  Here he is pictured with Harold S Smith Sr. author of "I Want to Quit Winners"   and owner of  Harold's Club in Reno.  JRF is to the right in the white hat.  Photo from that book.

Harolds Club JRF  

Another sibling of JRF with whom we have connections to descendants is his sister Florence Ethel Farrell.  She married William Arthur Wallace in 1907 at Fort Lupton, CO.  This picture believed to be from that date.  The Wallace and Farrell families are then pictured in San Diego.

Wm & Ethel Wallace 1907

  Wallace Farrells in San Diego

Pictured above Back: Francis Wallace, Ethel Farrell Wallace, Gertrude Ranes Farrell, James Ray Farrell, Ellen Farrell McQuat, Katie Smith Farrell, Zelma Wallace.
Front: Denny Farrell, Ralph Farrell, Iris Farrell & Ray McQuat

Many of the early pictures and research on this family has been shared by Don Wallace and his mother.  Without their excellent sleuthing and attention to detail, all of us today would have a much poorer understanding of the Farrells and their connections.  This website remains a work in progress.  I hope to expand with more photos of our own 'clan' after a trip to the West Coast starting next week.  Until then I hope you enjoy your visit.

For further information about the origins and history of the Farrell surname and those who carry it take a look at the Farrell Clan web site based in County Longford IRELAND.

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This page last updated  November 1, 2005