SDB Popularity Ranking: 31957

Last name: Carefull

SDB Popularity ranking: 31957

Recorded as Carefull, Careful, Carfull and possibly others, this is an English medieval surname, but one which is not apparently recorded in any of the dictionaries of surnames of the British Isles. It is very rare in the church registers of the city of London, the usual epicentre of rare names, but is reasonably well recorded in the Liverpool region of Lancashire the first example it would seem being that of Phillip Carefull at St Peters, Liverpool, on March 10th 1752, when his daughter Diana was christened. Careless, Carless and Corless, which one might describe as its opposite in meaning, are well recorded throughout England. These were given as a nickname to a person who was free of care, rather than the modern interpretation of "Could not care less". The derivation is from the pre 7th century word caru meaning care, and leas, literally "free from". As such it is reasonable to speculate that the surename as Carefull is from the same caru, and the Olde English ful, to give a literal translation of "full of care", and hence a good person, possibly even a holy man. However one must also literally "take care" when applying 21st century meanings or translations to 14th century Chaucerian words and phrases. Nickname surnames had a habit of meaning the very opposite of what they apparently described, with as a good example, Little John or John Little, being the largest man in Robin Hood's band of outlaws. The earliest church recording of this name in any spelling that we have been able to positively identify, is that of Thomas Carful or Carfull, who married Margery Waring at the famous church of St Mary le Bone, city of London, on June 4th 1672

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Surname scroll for: Carefull

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