Show ContentsCarlan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Carlan claims descent from the O'Connors in Donegal where "Carlan" (from the Irish "carla" meaning a "wool-comb" and "an" meaning "one who" which roughly translates as "one who combs wool") was in Irish O'Carlain or O'Caireallain.

Early Origins of the Carlan family

The surname Carlan was first found in County Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where the name is descended from the O'Connor stem, Kings of Connaught and the family became early associated with the county of Tyrone, and in neighboring counties.

Early History of the Carlan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carlan research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1738, 1799, 1535, 1568, 1670 and 1738 are included under the topic Early Carlan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carlan Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Carlan were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Carlin, Carling, O'Carolan, Carline, Karlin, Kerling, Kerline, Carlind, Carlynde, Carlyne, Carlyn, Carrlin, Carrling, Kerlynd, Kerlynde, Karlynd, Karline, Kearlin, Kearline, Kearlynd, Carolan, Carrolan, Carolyn, Carolyne, Caroline, Carolynde, Caraline, Carroline, Carlan, Carland, Carlon, Carlone, Karolin, Karolan, Karrolin and many more.

Early Notables of the Carlan family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Hugh O'Carolan, Bishop of Clogher from 1535-1568. Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) was a blind early Irish harper, composer and singer, known for his gift for melodic composition. Born in Nobber, County Meath, his father took a job with the MacDermott Roe family of Alderford House, thereby giving Turlough an education. By the time he was eighteen, he was blinded by smallpox and by the age of twenty-one, he was given a horse and...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carlan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Carlan migration to the United States +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Carlan or a variant listed above, including:

Carlan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Carlan, aged 26, who landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804 [1]
  • Alexander Carlan, aged 29, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Emanuel W Carlan, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813 [1]
  • Patrick Carlan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • Sarah Carlan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Carlan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Carlan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Carlan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831

Australia Carlan migration to Australia +

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

Carlan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Miles Carlan, (b. 1795), aged 31, Irish coachman who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 7 years for robbery, transported aboard the "Boyne" on 28th October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Daniel Carlan, aged 27, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon" [3]
  • James Carlan, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"

New Zealand Carlan 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:

Carlan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Carlan, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [4]
  • Hannah Carlan, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [4]
  • Anne Mary Carlan, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [4]
  • William George Carlan, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Carlan (post 1700) +

  • Andrew E. Carlan, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 11th District, 1980 [5]
  • Elena Daniela Cârlan (b. 1980), Romanian long-distance runner and former race walker
  • Carlan H. Goslee, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Windsor; Elected 1946; Defeated, 1948 [6]

The Carlan 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: Felis demulcta mitis
Motto Translation: A stroked cat is gentle.

  1. 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)
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 27th October 2020). Retrieved from
  3. South Australian Register Thursday 20 January 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SHACKAMAXON 1853. Retrieved
  4. Archives New Zealand Micro 5019. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Alfred. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook