Recorded as Carn, Crane, and the rare patronymic Carnson, it is claimed that this surname is of Cornish origins, and has two possible interpretations. It is certainly Celtic, Gaelic or Olde English, all being very similar, and the derivation is from pre 7th century word "carn", meaning a tor, rock, crag, or even a pile or rocks. The surname may be locational from any of the varied places called Carn or Carne in Veryan; Carn Brea, a hill in the Illogan area; and Carn Towan, in Sennen, all in Cornwall, although the place name also occurs in other areas. Carne in Veryan is recorded as "Kern" in 1513, and is thought to be so called with reference to the barrow named Carne Beacon; and King Gerent, the 8th century king of Cornwall, was believed to lie buried there in a boat. The surname may also be topographical and would have been used to describe someone who lived by or near a tor or rocky place. The well-known Scottish topographical name Cairns is cognate with this narne. Examples of the surname from surviving church registers include the recordings of the christening of Margery Carne, at Totnes in Devonshire, on July 12th 1568, and the marriage of John Carne and Annes Myldon on August 8th 1574, at Breage in Cornwall. The family Coat of Arms depicts three black lions passant on a gold shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edward Carne. This was dated 1524, at Oxford University, during the reign of King Henry V111th, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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