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O'carroll Surname 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.


Early Origins of the O'carroll family


The surname O'carroll was 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.


Early History of the O'carroll family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'carroll research.
Another 200 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1172, 1451, 1600, 1916, 1625, 1711, 1661, 1720, 1735, 1815, 1737, 1832, 1789, 1792, 1602 and 1673 are included under the topic Early O'carroll History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'carroll Spelling Variations


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 O'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.

Early Notables of the O'carroll family (pre 1700)


Notable amongst the family name at this time was John Caryll (1625-1711), 1st Baron Caryll of Durford; Charles Carroll (1661-1720), often called Charles Carroll the Settler, to differentiate him from his son and grandson, a wealthy lawyer and planter in colonial Maryland; Most Rev. John Carroll (1735-1815), the first Catholic...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'carroll Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the O'carroll family to the New World and Oceana


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 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.

Contemporary Notables of the name O'carroll (post 1700)


  • Gerald O’Carroll, Irish writer and historian
  • Gay O'Carroll (b. 1964), former Irish football player
  • William Augustine O'Carroll (1831-1885), Irish nationalist, radical liberal, journalist and Queensland newspaper editor
  • Ross O'Carroll, Irish hurling and football player
  • Michael ffrench O'Carroll (1919-2007), Irish medical doctor and independent Teachta Dála
  • Rory O'Carroll, Irish football and hurling player
  • Maureen O'Carroll (1913-1984), Irish Labour Party politician
  • Eamon O'Carroll, Irish rugby league player
  • Brendan O'Carroll (b. 1955), Irish comedian, writer, actor and director
  • Diarmuid O'Carroll (b. 1987), Irish professional footballer
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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