This most interesting surname recorded in a wide range of spellings from Carl, Carlo, and Charles, to the female Charlotte and Charlet, the diminutives Carletti, De Carlo and Karlowicz, is usually of pre 5th century Germanic origins. It originates from the personal name Karl or Carl, meaning "man", and which was later Latinized to "Carolus". This personal name gave rise to the Old French spelling of Charles and later Charlotte, introduced into England by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion, but was never popularized until the Stuart period commencing in 1603.In France it was popular from an early date owing to the fame of the Emperor Charlemagne, (Charles the Great), King of the Franks (742-814). It was introduced to Scotland in the 16th Century by the Stuart Monarchs, who had strong ties with France. In some instances the surname may be of 8th century Anglo-Saxon origin, and derive from the word "ceorl", meaning a farmer or bondsman. The personal name as "Carolus" was first recorded in the charter known as the "Curia Rolls" of the county of Suffolk in the year 1208. Amongst the first surname recordings are those of Frethesant Cherl in the charters of the county of Cambridgeshire, England, in 1221, whilst in Germany Rudolf Karle was recorded as a Klosterdiener (monastery workerI in registers of the town of St Bastien, in the year 1275. One of the first settlers in the Virgina colony of New England was Dorothie Charles, who sailed thereon the ship "Transport of London" in 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is believed to be that of Osbert Cherle, which was dated 1193, in the "Pipe Rolls" of the county of Warwickshire, England. This wasduring the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199.
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