Show ContentsCarew History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cornwall, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Carew. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Carew family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Carew is a local type of surname and the Carew family lived in Cornwall. This name is derived from Welsh surname Caeriw, meaning dweller at the fort on the hill.

However, "we come upon a disputed etymology. Mr Carew in his 'Survey of Cornwall' tells us that 'his first ancestor came out of France with William the Conqueror by the name Karrow.' Karo, or Caro, is a Cornish word signifying hart or deer. Dugdale and most other authorities, believe that the family is denominated from Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire." [1]

Early Origins of the Carew family

The surname Carew was first found in Cornwall where the family first established themselves after the Conquest. The family are descended from "Gerald, son of Walter de Windsor, who lived in the reign of Henry I, which Walter was son of Otho, in the time of William the Conqueror." [2]

"In the [parish of Antony in East, Cornwall] have resided for several centuries, many branches of the well known and justly respected family of Carew. Richard Carew, Esq. the celebrated historian of Cornwall, informs us in his Survey of the county, that his ancestors were originally from the continent, and that they came into this kingdom with William the Conqueror. Of the genealogy, progress, and connexion of his family with others, in passing down the stream of time, a detailed account may be found in his work, from page 102 to 106. " [3]

Carew Castle is located in Pembrokeshire, Wales that still stands today and has been held by the Carew family since it was built by Gerald de Winsor who took the name "de Carew" about 1100. " About the year 1300, by the marriage of Sir John de Carru with the coheiress of Mohun, this ancient family first became connected with the county of Devon." [2]

One branch of the family was found at Beddington in Surrey from ancient times. "The church [of Beddington], beautifully situated in Beddington Park, close to the ancient mansion, is a handsome edifice with a fine tower, chiefly in the later English style; it was built in the reign of Richard II., and contains some monuments to the memory of the Carew family." [4]

"Harrowbear, or Harroburrow, [in the parish of Calstock, Cornwall] formerly a seat of the Carews of Antony, is now a farm house, and is the property of Mr. John Worth." [3]

Early History of the Carew family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carew research. Another 178 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1050, 1766, 1568, 1380, 1555, 1629, 1555, 1620, 1595, 1639, 1545, 1580, 1643, 1609, 1644, 1635, 1692, 1622, 1660, 1693, 1759, 1745, 1362, 1323, 1324, 1514, 1575, 1590 and 1672 are included under the topic Early Carew History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carew Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Carew, Carrott, Carrow, Carrowe and others.

Early Notables of the Carew family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Hugo Carew, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1380; Lord George Carew, 1st Earl of Totnes (1555-1629), who served under Queen Elizabeth I during the Tudor conquest of Ireland and was appointed President of Munster; Richard Carew (1555-1620) was a Cornish translator and antiquary; Thomas Carew (1595-1639), one of the best of the Cavalier poets, courtier of King Charles I; Sir George Carew, captain of the Mary Rose, was killed in her sinking in 1545 against a French attack; Sir Richard Carew, 1st Baronet (ca. 1580-1643), of Antony in Cornwall, an English writer and...
Another 124 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carew Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carew Ranking

In Newfoundland, Canada, the name Carew is the 224th most popular surname with an estimated 194 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Carew family to Ireland

Some of the Carew family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 209 words (15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Carew migration to the United States +

An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Carew or a variant listed above:

Carew Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Gome Carew who settled in Maine in 1607
  • Mannes Carew, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [6]
  • Tho Carew, who arrived in Virginia in 1662 [6]
  • Jacob Carew, who landed in Virginia in 1663 [6]
  • Allen Carew, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carew Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Carew, who arrived in New England in 1753 [6]
Carew Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Carew, who arrived in America in 1805 [6]
  • John Carew, who landed in America in 1807 [6]
  • Richard Carew, who landed in America in 1810 [6]
  • L D Carew, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]

Canada Carew migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Carew Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Nicholas Carew, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1818
  • Margaret Carew, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1824
  • Letitia Carew, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831

Australia Carew migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Carew Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Carew, aged 33, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Stag" [7]
  • Michael Carew, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" in 1850 [8]
  • Daniel Carew, aged 39, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Utopia"
  • Mr. Richard Carew, (b. 1864), aged 21, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Waroonga" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 6th May 1885 [9]

New Zealand Carew migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Carew Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Ponsonby Carew, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Light Brigade" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1868 [10]
  • Mr. N. Carew, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Queen Bee" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 10th January 1872 [11]

West Indies Carew migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [12]
Carew Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Richard Carew with his wife Elizabeth, daughter and servants, settled in Barbados in 1680
Carew Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Walter Carew, who landed in Jamaica in 1780 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Carew (post 1700) +

  • Rodney Cline "Rod" Carew (b. 1945), American former Major League Baseball first baseman
  • Russell S. Carew, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1940 [13]
  • Ralph L. Carew Sr., American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention from Wayne County 6th District, 1961 [13]
  • John Francis Carew (1873-1951), American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 24th District, 1904; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1912 (alternate), 1924, 1928 [13]
  • George F. Carew, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 20th District, 1911 [13]
  • David Carew, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Tennessee 5th District, 2000 [13]
  • Robert Shapland Carew (1818-1881), 2nd Baron Carew
  • Stan Carew (1950-2015), Canadian radio broadcaster, musician and actor, best known as a host of the national CBC Radio programs Prime Time and The Entertainers in the 1980s
  • Patrick Thomas Conolly- Carew (b. 1938), 7th Baron Carew
  • Charles Robert Sydenham Carew JP (1853-1939), British Conservative politician
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Frank Joseph  Carew (1857-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [14]

The Carew Motto +

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: J'espere Bien
Motto Translation: I hope well.

  1. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  6. 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)
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STAG 1850. Retrieved
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LORD ASHBURTON 1850. Retrieved from
  9. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  10. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  11. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  13. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from
  14. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook