Recorded as MacCarroll, McCarroll, McCarrell, McCarle, Carroll, and others, this surname is Irish. It is a developed form of the ancient name Mac Cearbhaill meaning 'The son of the warrior' from the personal name Cearbhall, a byname for a fierce warrior deriving from "cearbh", meaning to hack. There were two distinct clans, one in Leinster and the other in Ulster, where the name is often recorded as MacCarvill. The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below), and early examples of recordings include Donslevy Mac Carroll in 1357, described by the Four Masters as "a noble master of music and melody, the best of his time". Later examples include Margaret McCarroll, who was christened on June 30th 1744. William McCarrell married Rebecka Pritty at St. John's, Limerick, on June 14th 1758, and James McCarle and his wife Mary (nee Alderice) at Belfast on October 5th 1865. James McCarroll (1814 - 1892), who emigrated to America, at the age of 17 years, was a well known American poet, dramatist and inventor. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mulrory Mac Carroll, which was dated 1328. He was the Chief Minster of Ireland and Scotland, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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