Show ContentsCarby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, Carby was a Strathclyde-Briton name for someone who lived in the parish of Inveresk, Lothian, which was first recorded in the form Crebarrin, from the words Gaelic craobhm meaning "tree," and barran, meaning "hedge."

Early Origins of the Carby family

The surname Carby was first found in Midlothian, from the lands of CarBerry in the parish of Inveresk. "Johannes de Crebarrin filius Gilleberti de Crebarrin made two grants of lands from his territory of Crebarrin, c. 1230, and about the same period Adam filius Patricii de Crebarrin gifted four bovates of his land of Crebarrin to the Abbey of Dunfermelin. Alexander Crabarri, juror on forfeited estates in Lothian, 1312. William Carbery, M.A., petitioned for a canonry of Aberdeen, 1406." 1

Carberry Tower is a historic house in East Lothian, Scotland. King David I of Scotland granted "Caerbairin" (Carberry) to the monks of Dunfermline Abbey. The first landowner or lessee was John de Crebarrie. Carberry Hill, part of the Carberry Estate was the site where Mary, Queen of Scots facing an army assembled by a confederation of her lords, surrendered.

While most of the family hails from Scotland, there is another possible origin; that of Ireland. There the name "is derived from a geographical locality, 'of Carberry,' a parish in County Kildare, Ireland. As this surname looks very English, I insert it to prevent any misapprehension." 2

"The Carbury or Carbery baronies in Longford and Sligo were so called from Cairbre, one of the sons of Niall of the Nine Hostages, King of Ireland from A.D. 379 to 405." 3 4

Early History of the Carby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carby research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1743, 1792, 1806 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Carby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carby Spelling Variations

In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Carby has been spelled Carberry, Carbarry, Carbery, Carbray, Carbury, Carbrey, Carbry, Carby, Crebarin and many more.

Early Notables of the Carby family

More information is included under the topic Early Carby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Carby family to Ireland

Some of the Carby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Carby migration to the United States +

Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and Clan societies. Among them:

Carby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Dan Carby, who arrived in Virginia in 1655 5
  • Denny Carby, who arrived in Virginia in 1656 5
  • Douny Carby, who landed in Virginia in 1656 5
Carby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Carby, who arrived in Virginia in 1730 5

Contemporary Notables of the name Carby (post 1700) +

  • Hazel V. Carby, professor of African American Studies and of American Studies at Yale University

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook