This name, with variant spelling Carty, is chiefly found in the Munster county of Cork, and throughout the province of Connacht. In Old Gaelic it appears as O Carthaigh, from "O" indicating "grandson" or, "male descendant of ", plus the genitive case of the personal byname Carthach meaning loving or charitable. Carthach, Lord of the Eoghanacht, an ancient territory in South Munster, was the first known bearer of the name, and it is from him that the Carthy and MacCarthy families claim descent. His death in 1045 is recorded in "The Annals of the Four Masters". The (Mac)Carthys were known as "the most eminent by far of the noble families of the south" and from them sprung the O'Carthaighs, later anglicized to Cart(h)y, a branch of whom migrated to Connacht. On January 5th, 1737 Charles Carthy, an infant, was christened in Macroom, Co. Cork. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of MacCarthy Mor, Chief of the name in Muskerry, which was dated 1173 - He rendered homage to Henry II of England, during the reign of Ruairi O' Conchubhair, High King of Ireland, 1166 - 1198. 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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