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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Carmichael family come from? What is the Scottish Carmichael family crest and coat of arms? When did the Carmichael family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Carmichael family history?

The roots of the name Carmichael are found among the Strathclyde-Briton people of the ancient Scottish/English Borderlands. Carmichael was originally found in the barony of Carmichael in the county of Lanarkshire where the earliest existing records of the family indicate that they resided in this county before the 11th century Norman Conquest. Records show that they lived at Glegern (now Cleghorn,) which they were granted in the late 12th century by King David I of Scotland. Robert de Caramicely is mentioned in records in 1226. William de Creimechel witnessed a charter by Nerssus de Lundors c. 1225. Little is mentioned of the family until more than a century later when William de Carmichael is mentioned in a charter of lands of Poufeigh c. 1350 and Sir John de Carmychell had a charter of the lands of Carmychell between 1374 and 1384 granted by William earl of Douglas for his assistance of King Charles VI of France against the English. Today, Carmichael is a small village between Lanark and Biggar, in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, home to the "Discover Carmichael Centre," featuring the history of the Carmichael family in Scotland.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Carmichael has been spelled Carmichael, Carmichail, Carmichale, Carmicham, Carmackhell and many more.

First found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow. George Carmichael "thesaurer" of Glasgow was elected bishop late in 1482 but died the following year without having been confirmed. A few years later, John of Carmichael was an Edinburgh councillor in 1518. John Kirkmichael of Carmichael who escaped the carnage of Verneuil in 1424 was appointed by the French king for the recognition of the great services by the Scots in France. He was known in French history as Jean de St. Michael and founded there a cathedral which was maintained for his fellow Scottish countrymen slain at Verneuil. In the Battle of Beauge, Sir John distinguished himself by unseating the Duke of Clarence, the English King's brother, but broke his lance; hence the Family Crest became the broken lance.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carmichael research. Another 35 words(2 lines of text) covering the years 1672, 1729 and are included under the topic Early Carmichael History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carmichael Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Carmichael family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary North America. Among them:

  • Evan Carmichael settled in Wilmington North Carolina with his wife and three children

Carmichael Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Carmichael, who arrived in Maine in 1651-1652

Carmichael Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Donald Carmichael settled in New York State in 1738
  • Daniel Carmichael, who landed in New York in 1738
  • Donald Carmichael, who landed in New York in 1738
  • Dugald Carmichael, who arrived in New York in 1738
  • Dugald Carmichael and his wife Catherine and four children settled in New York state in 1739


Carmichael Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James Carmichael, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1803
  • Peter Carmichael, who landed in America in 1803
  • Edward Carmichael, aged 29, arrived in Maryland in 1812
  • Samuel Carmichael, who landed in Mississippi in 1841
  • Margaret Carmichael, who arrived in New York in 1842


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  • Hoagland Howard "Hoagy" Carmichael (1899-1981), American composer, pianist, singer and bandleader, best known for writing "Stardust", "Georgia On My Mind", "The Nearness of You", and "Heart and Soul"
  • Ricky Carmichael (b. 1979), American professional motocross racer
  • Robert Daniel Carmichael (1879-1967), leading American mathematician
  • Leonard Carmichael (1898-1973), American educator and psychologist, eponym of the lunar crater so named
  • Nelson Carmichael (b. 1965), American Olympic freestyle skier
  • Albert Eugene "Gene" Carmichael (1927-2014), Jr. was an American politician and businessman
  • Sir James Carmichael (1844-1902), Scottish politician
  • John Carmichael VC, MM (1893-1977), Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Alexander Morrison "Alistair" Carmichael (b. 1965), Scottish Liberal Democrat politician
  • James Carmichael (1819-1903), Nova Scotia businessman and founder of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

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  • The Carmichael Clan, Westbrook and Allied Families by Opal Carmichael Phoenix.
  • The Scottish Highlander Carmichaels of the Carolinas by Roderick L. Carmichael.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Toujours prest
Motto Translation: Always ready.

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Carmichael Clan Badge
Carmichael Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Carmichael
Carmackhel, Carmackhell, Carmakhell, Carmicghan, Carmichaal, Carmichaale, Carmichael, Carmichail, Carmichaile, Carmichal, Carmichale, Carmicham, Carmichan, Carmichaul, Carmichayle, Carmichil, Carmichile, Carmichul, Carmichyle, Carmicman, MacOstrich, McOstrich, Ostrich and more.

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  1. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  3. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  4. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  5. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  6. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  7. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Carmichael Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Carmichael Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 30 June 2014 at 03:42.

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