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

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

The name Carroll has undergone many variations in the time that has passed since its genesis. In Gaelic it appeared as Cearbhaill, which is derived from the name of Cearbhal, the Lord of Ely who helped King Brian Boru lead the Irish to victory over the Danes at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.


Official documents, crafted by early scribes and church officials, primarily contained names that were spelled according to their pronunciation. This lead to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating an illusion that a single person was many people. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Carroll that are preserved in the archival documents of the time are O'Carroll, Carroll, Carrel, Carrell, Carrill, Carrol, Carroll, Caryll, Garvil, Garvill and many more.

First found in counties Tipperary, Offaly, Monaghan and Louth. Through their connection with Cearbal, they descend from King Oilioll Olum. There were six distinct O'Carroll septs prior to the Anglo- Norman Conquest. While four disintegrated before the end of the 13th century, the two most important septs continued. These were O'Carroll of Ely O'Carroll, from the counties of Tipperary and Offaly, and O'Carroll of Oriel, from the counties of Monagan and Louth. While the Oriel O'Carrolls disappeared as an official sept resulting from the Anglo- Norman Conquest, the members of that sept were not scattered, but remained mainly within their ancient territories. However, the O'Carrolls of Ely O'Carroll managed to maintain their independence and heritage until the end of the 16th century, and continued to play an important role in Irish history. They formerly held large territories in the county of Tipperary, but were confined to the area around Birr in the county of Offaly by the rise of the powerful Norman Butlers.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carroll research. Another 397 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1172, 1451, 1600, 1916, 1625, 1711, 1661, 1720, 1735, 1815, 1737, 1832, 1789 and 1792 are included under the topic Early Carroll History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 165 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carroll Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


North America accepted thousands of Irish immigrants during the 19th century as their homeland suffered under foreign imperialistic rule. Although settlers from the early portion of the century came to North America by choice in search of land, by far the largest influx of Irish immigrants came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Many of these Irish families left the country destitute and in some cases suffering from disease. However, those who survived the long ocean voyage were especially vital to the development of industry in the United States and what would become known as Canada. Research of immigration and passenger lists has shown many early immigrants bearing the name Carroll:

Carroll Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Christopher Carroll, who arrived in Maryland in 1638
  • George Carroll, who landed in Maryland in 1672
  • Charles Carroll, who arrived in Maryland in 1688

Carroll Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Jno Carroll, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Jacob Carroll, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Anne Carroll, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Anthony Carroll, who arrived in New York in 1798

Carroll Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Danl Carroll, aged 20, arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1803
  • Ric Carroll, aged 22, landed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1803
  • Elizth Carroll, who landed in America in 1804
  • Edward Carroll, who landed in America in 1806
  • John S Carroll, aged 31, landed in New York in 1812


  • Ahmad Carroll (b. 1983), American professional football player
  • Diahann Carroll (b. 1935), Academy Award-nominated and Tony Award winning American actress and singer
  • Harry Carroll (1892-1962), American musician and songwriter
  • Joan Carroll (b. 1932), American actress
  • Julian Carroll (b. 1931), American Governor of Kentucky 1974-1979
  • Pat Carroll (b. 1982), American basketball player
  • Pete Carroll (b. 1951), American football coach
  • Bill Carroll (b. 1966), American singer, songwriter, record producer, bassist and guitarist
  • Georgia Carroll (1919-2011), American singer, fashion model, and actress, best known for her role as Betsy Ross in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
  • Brigadier-General Percy James Carroll (1891-1987), American Commanding General Vaughn General Hospital (1944-1946)



  • Carroll Frontiersmen, From North Carolina 1805 to Arkansas 1987 by Elizabeth Carroll Foster.
  • Daniel Carroll II, One Man and His Descendants, 1730-1978 by Sister May Virginia Geiger.

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: In Fide et in Bello Fortis
Motto Translation: Strong in both faith and war.


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  1. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  10. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  11. ...

The Carroll Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Carroll 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 23 September 2014 at 10:46.

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