This is a surname of uncertain origin. In our opinion it is most probably French, and a derivation of the Langedoc surname 'Carcasse', meaning a person from the town of Carcasson. The fact that 'Carcasse' is or rather was, specifically from Langedoc is significant, because it was from this region in Southern France that many of the 17th and 18th century protestant Huguenot refugees made their way to other parts of the continent, and to the British Isles. We believe that this is the case with this surname recorded in England as Carcas, Carcass, Carkass, Carckas and several other forms as well. However it is also possible that the surname is locational from a village such as 'Carhouse' in Lincoln, the present spelling being a dialectal transposition of a type common in the pre 19th century when less than one in twenty of the population could even write their name. 'Carhouse' means the house on a small hill, from the olde English pre 7th century 'caer hus'. The last but very faint possibility is that the name is occupational, and described a meat porter, or similar, one who moved carcases. The latter is a French word, not used in England before the 14th century. Examples of the surname recordings taken from church registers include John Carckas, christened at St Olaves church, Hart Street, London, on April 30th 1671, and Mary Carcass, at St Stephen Walbrook, London, on September 16th 1704. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Carcas, which was dated March 14th 1667, christened at St Olaves Church, Hart Street, London, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as 'The merry monarch', 1660 - 1685. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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