This famous surname is of pre 7th century Germanic origins. It is a form of the personal name Carl or Karl, to which at various times has been added suffix such as -ing meaning people of, or -son for son of, or -man, the friend or servant of. The original word probably predates written history. In the period of history known as "The Dark Ages" between the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, and the coming of the Emperor Charlemagne in the 9th, the word carl described a freeman, at a time when to hold such a status was the peak of achievement for the few, and the unsuccessful target of the many. It is said that by the medieval period it had a more general meaning of yeoman or farmer. What is certain is that many surnames were created around the word both in Germany and England, and throughout most of Northern Europe. Early examples of the name recording taken from surviving rolls, registers and charters of the medieval period include: In England Godric Carlesone of Kent in the 1086 Domesday Book, Robert le Karl of Lincoln in 1202, and in Germany Rudolf Karle of St. Blasien in 1275, Heinrich Carlinge of Bludenz in 1290, and Nicklaus Corling of Ingelheim in 1348. Konrad Karlemann was recorded in the citizens lists of Gottingen in the year 1450, whilst Martin Karler of Altheim in Switzerland, appears in the charters of Ulm in 1557. On April 6th 1846 the surname was one of the first on the Potato Famine lists, when James Carling, a blacksmith, emigrated to New York on the ship Stephen Witney of Liverpool. The name is now famously associated with both the Canadian lager company, and Will Carling, the very successful England rugby captain.
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