An English and Irish surname, Terrell comes from the Old French terms ‘tirer’ and ‘tirand’ which means to draw forward or pull on the reins. It later meant someone who was inflexible and persistent. The spelling variations for Terrell include Tyrrell, Tyrill, Tyell, Terrill, Turrell, Tirell and Terrell. In England the original Terrell families resided in Essex, near London. From there the Terrell name spread to Middlesex, Hampshire, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and Warwickshire. In Scotland the Terrell name is found mostly in Lanarkshire, Midlothian and Fife counties. Within the United States the Terrell family name originated in Virginia, Georgia, Ohio, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Alabama. Famous: David Terrell (professional football player), Tillotson Terrell (an early 19th century pioneer to Ohio, especially in the Ridgeville area), Tammi Terrell (singer), Walt Terrell (professional baseball player), Ernie Terrell (professional boxer and alter record producer), Claude Terrell (professional football player) and Jean Terrell (singer).