This interesting and long-established surname, of Irish origin, is an Anglicized form of the name "O'Cearbhaill", derived from the prefix "O", meaning "grandson of", and the Gaelic personal name "Cearbhall" which was possibly a byname for a butcher or a fierce warrior, deriving from "cearbh", hacking. There were six distinct septs of O'Carroll in Ireland, namely in Counties Kerry, Offaly, Monaghan, Tipperary, Leitrim and Louth. Carroll has a high position in the list of most numerous surnames in Ireland, approximately sixteen thousand, which range from Counties Cork, Tipperary and Waterford, to Kilkenny. The name dates back to the mid 11th Century (see below), and Alice, daughter of Hugh Carroll, was christened at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London, on September 29th 1609. The most Rev. John Carroll (1735 - 1815) was the first Catholic bishop in America, and the first Archbishop of Baltimore. One Patrick Carroll, aged 54 yrs., a famine emigrant to New York, sailed aboard the "Columbus" from Liverpool, in February 1846, together with his wife, Ann, aged 50 yrs., and his son, William, aged 11 yrs. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is on a silver shield two red lions combatant supporting a sword erect in pale proper in the dexter chief point a black cross flory, the Crest being on the stump of a tree a falcon rising billed proper charged on the breast with a black cross flory. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maolsuthain O'Carroll, which was dated 1031, Confessor of Brian Boru and contributor to the "Book of Armagh", during the reign of King William 1 of England, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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