This interesting surname is a locational name from Carlaw in Scotland, deriving from the old English pre 7th Century "carr" meaning "rock" plus "hlaw" "hill", "burial mound". The surname dates back to the early 17th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Carlo, Carloe, Carlow, Carlew, etc.. One Charles Carloo married Isabella Smith on August 22nd 1683 at St. Marylebone, St. Mary Street, Marylebone Road, London. William Carlaw was christened on November 19th 1704 in Edinburgh.One Robert Carlaw married Janet Boyd in Edinburgh on September 9th 1715, and Elizabeth, daughter of William and Mary Carlaw, was christened at Swallow Street, Scotch Church, Westminster, on January 13th 1797. One Edward Carlow is recorded in the Death Register in Virginia in 1624. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Susan Carlew married William Webb, which was dated 1638 - St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, London. during the reign of King Charles 1, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1648. 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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