This notable Irish surname is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "Mac Cearbhaill", son of Cearbhall, a male given name from "cearbh", hacking, and denoting a fierce warrior. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, revered elders, or some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "Mac", son of, or "O" indicating "male descendant of". There are two distinct McCarroll septs in Ireland, one in South Leinster, and the other in Ulster, where its medieval territory is indicated by the placename Ballymaccarroll. The name is, however, more usually Anglicized as "MacCarvill" in Ulster. Donslevy MacCarroll (died 1357), is described by the Four Masters as "a noble master of music and melody, the best of his time", and three Archbishops of Cashel in the 13th and 14th Centuries were MacCarrolls. On June 9th 1743, Olivia Mc Carroll and Edward Higginson were married in Lisburn, County Antrim. James Mc Carroll (1814 - 1892), who emigrated to the United States of America, aged 17 yrs., was a well known American poet, and on June 17th 1846, Patt Mc Carroll, a famine emigrant to New York, embarked from Liverpool aboard the "Empire" bound for that port. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mulrory Mac Carroll, Chief Minstrel of Ireland and Scotland, which was dated 1328, in "Medieval Records of Ireland", during the reign of King Edward 111 of England, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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