This is a famous Irish surname. Originally recorded as both MacCarroll and O'Carroll, this ancient and long-established surname, is now usually recorded as Carroll, Caroll or Carol. It originates from the ancient name Mac Cearbhaill or O'Cearbhaill, deriving from the word "cearbh", meaning to hack! Hence possibly a warrior or even a blacksmith. In Ireland itself there were two distincts septs of MacCarroll and no less than six of O'Carroll, but today they are largely intermixed in the counties of Kerry, Offaly, Monaghan, Tipperary, Leitrim and Louth. The (united) surname as Carroll has a high position in the list of most numerous surnames in Ireland, with approximately sixteen thousand nameholders. The recorded surname dates from the mid 11th Century, and examples of these recordings include:Alice, the daughter of Hugh Carroll, who was christened at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London, on September 29th 1609. The most Rev. John Carroll (1735 - 1815) was the first Catholic bishop in America, and also the first Archbishop of Baltimore, whilst Ann Carol was christened at St Pauls Covent Garden, city of London, on June 16th 1769. Patrick Carroll, aged 54 years., was a famine emigrant to New York. He sailed aboard the ship "Columbus of Liverpool" in February 1846, together with his wife, Ann, and his son, William, aged 11. The coat of arms most associated with the name is: Argent, two red lions combatant, supporting a sword erect in pale proper in the dexter chief point a black cross flory. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maolsuthain O'Carroll. This was dated 1031, when he was the confessor to Brian Boru and contributor to the "Book of Armagh". Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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