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

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

The name O'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.

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Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname O'Carroll are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'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 O'Carroll History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name O'Carroll: John Carroll who settled in Nova Scotia in 1776; Mary Carroll (6 months old) who arrived in Quebec in 1849; Thomas Carroll and his family who arrived in Quebec in 1849.

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  • Diarmuid O'Carroll (b. 1987), Irish professional footballer
  • Brendan O'Carroll (b. 1955), Irish comedian, writer, actor and director
  • Eamon O'Carroll, Irish rugby league player
  • Maureen O'Carroll (1913-1984), Irish Labour Party politician
  • Rory O'Carroll, Irish football and hurling player
  • Michael ffrench O'Carroll (1919-2007), Irish medical doctor and independent Teachta Dála
  • Ross O'Carroll, Irish hurling and football player
  • William Augustine O'Carroll (1831-1885), Irish nationalist, radical liberal, journalist and Queensland newspaper editor
  • Gay O'Carroll (b. 1964), former Irish football player
  • Paddy O'Carroll, former swimmer from New Zealand


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

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  1. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The O'Carroll Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'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 16 December 2013 at 21:45.

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