Recorded as MacCarlich or McCarlich, which are the usual Scottish spellings, and the developments of McArley, McCarlie, McCarley and McCarly which are most usually from Northern Ireland, this is a surname of Gaelic origins. The origination is from the 15th century MacThearlatch, meaning the son of Charles, but as to who this Charles was, except that he was the original chief of the sept, is not known. The surname in any spelling is apparently first recorded in the year 1455 when Alexander Terletch was the rector of Kilchomann, Ayrshire, whilst about century later in 1535, John Makarlich is recorded in the same county. It is unclear as to when the name first went to Ireland as most Irish records were destroyed by the IRA in the Civil War of 1922 when they blew up the Dublin Public Records office, but it was probably about 1640. From those records that survived, the first we see is that of Thomas McCarlie. He was recorded as being a christening witness to his daughter Mary, at Clones, County Monaghan, on November 28th 1722. Other recordings include those of Mary McCarley who married Hugh Thompson also at Clones, on May 9th 1846, this was the year which saw the start of the infamous Irish Potato Famine. Other recordings are those of Thomas McArley, the son of James McArley, christened at Ballymena, County Anrim, on September 3rd 1865, and Annie McCarlie, christened at Coleraine, on September 15th 1866.
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