This surname of English origin is found chiefly in the Western Midlands. It is a nickname for a carefree person, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "caru" meaning "grief" or "care" plus "leas" "free from" or "without", hence "free from care". This surname dates back to the mid 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Alan Kareless (1260) witness, "The Assize Rolls of Cambridgeshire", and Willelmus Careles (1379) "The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Careless, Carloss, Carlos, etc.. Rychard Carlos was christened at St. Andrew, Enfield on March 5th 1552, William, son of John Carleless, was christened at St. Margaret, Westminster. One Thomas Careless married Ann Wilson at St. Marylebone, London on May 31st 1685. One, Mary Carless married Angell Mark at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster on September 6th 1705. An illustrious name-bearer was William Careless who escaped to France with Charles 11 in September 1651, and was taken into his service. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Carlos, which was dated 1141, "Early London Personal Names", during the reign of King Stephen of England, "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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