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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish, Italian

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

The Irish name Carlin 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.


Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Carlin are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include 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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carlin research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1738, 1799, 1535 and 1568 are included under the topic Early Carlin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Carlin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Carlin family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Carlin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Carlin, his wife and their two children who arrived in South Carolina in 1752

Carlin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Carlin, who arrived in Louisiana in 1805-1809
  • William Carlin, aged 24, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Francis M Carlin, aged 48, landed in New York in 1812
  • Henry Carlin, aged 21, landed in New York in 1812
  • Francis M. Carlin, who settled in New York in 1812

Carlin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Jean Carlin, who came to Halifax, NS, in 1752
  • Jeanne Carlin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757

Carlin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Catherine Carlin, aged 21, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833
  • Ann Carlin, who arrived in Saint John, NB in 1847

Carlin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Bridget Carlin, aged 24, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Duke of Wellington"
  • Bridget Carlin, aged 24, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849
  • Sarah Carlin arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stratheden" in 1850
  • Daniel Carlin, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Marion"
  • Thomas Carlin, aged 31, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"

Carlin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Celia Carlin a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Romulus" in 1862
  • Mary A. Carlin, aged 20, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Nations" in 1874


  • Lynn Carlin (b. 1938), born Mary Lynn Reynolds, an American Academy Award nominated actress, known for Faces (1968), Taking Off (1971) and Dead of Night (1974)
  • Leo P. Carlin (1908-1999), American politician, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey from 1953 to 1962
  • John William Carlin (b. 1940), American politician, 40th Governor of Kansas (1979-1987)
  • David R. Carlin Jr. (b. 1938), American politician, professor of sociology and philosophy, and author
  • George Denis Patrick Carlin (1937-2008), American Grammy Award and three-time American Comedy Award winning, six-time Primetime Emmy nominated stand-up comedian, actor, and author
  • Paul Nestor Carlin (b. 1931), American businessman, United States Postmaster General from 1985 to 1986
  • Luke Christopher Carlin (b. 1980), American Major League Baseball catcher
  • Charles Creighton Carlin (1866-1938), American politician, U.S. representative from Virginia
  • Bob Carlin (b. 1953), American old-time banjo player and singer
  • Chris Carlin (b. 1972), American on-air radio personality



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.


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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  3. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  11. ...

The Carlin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Carlin 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 3 November 2015 at 13:00.

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