This interesting and unusual name is an anglicized form of the Old Scottish name Carse, which has been changed by dialect. It is topographical for someone who lived at a stony or rocky place. The derivation being from the Old English pre 7th Century "carr", meaning a rock. In the modern idiom, the variants are Carse, Cars and Kerse. These variants are well recorded in Black's Scottish surnames e.g., Bessie Kerse is recorded in Edinburgh in the Register of marriages in 1653, Patrick Carse is mentioned in the Commissariat Record of Lauder-Register and testaments, Skaithnure in 1655 and John Carss is on record in Riddene, Lanarkshire in 1711. As would be expected the form had changed by the time it reached London, i.e. Mary Cast daughter of Peter Cast was christened at St. Lawrence Poutney on February 17th 1593. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Baldricus de Cars, which was dated circa 1230, Perthshire, Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander II of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. 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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