Carlisle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The surname Carlisle was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by an ancient Scottish people called the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for someone who lived in the city of Carlisle in the county of Cumberland.

Early Origins of the Carlisle family

The surname Carlisle was first found in Cumberland, at Carlisle. "It was anciently called Caer-Luil, or Caer Leol, signifying "the city of Luil," a British potentate, who is reputed to have been its founder. The Romans, on selecting it for a station, changed the name to Lugovallum, which is probably derived from Lugus or Lucu, a "tower" or "fort," in the Celtic tongue, and Vallum, in allusion to Adrian's vallum, which passed near. From its earliest foundation till the union of the English and Scottish kingdoms, the town suffered those shocks of incursive warfare to which, as a border town, it was peculiarly exposed, and by which it was repeatedly overwhelmed. " [1]

"The surname crossed the Border, the spelling undergoing slight changes. Still it is easy to see that Thomas Carlyle was born and brought up not very far from the city whence his ancestors originally sprang." [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 pointed to the wide spelling variations that were in use at that time: Thomas de Carlell; Willelmus de Karleyll, osllr; and Walterus de Carlhill. [2]

Slightly further to the north in Scotland, "the first of the name who appears in Scotland is Odard de Carlyle, who witnessed a charter by Uchtred, son of Fergus, lord of Galloway, to the Hospital of St. Peter at York between 1158-1164. He appears to have also held the land of Hoddam as he is described as Odard de Hodelme. Evdone de Karleolo or Eudo de Karliol, c. 1207, was witness to a charter by Eustace de Vescy of 20l. per annum out of the mill of Sprouiston to the Abbey of Kelso." [3]

Important Dates for the Carlisle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carlisle research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1795, 1881, 1551, 1593, 1629, 1664, 1622, 1680, 1691, 1682 and are included under the topic Early Carlisle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carlisle Spelling Variations

The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Carlisle has been spelled Carlisle, Carlysle, Carleill, Carlyle, Carlile, Carliell and many more.

Early Notables of the Carlisle family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Christopher Carleill (1551?-1593), English military and naval commander, son of Alexander Carleill, citizen and vintner of London. Lodowick Carlell ( fl. 1629-1664), was an English dramatist, who held various positions at court under Charles I and II. [4] Robert Carliell (d. 1622?), was a poet and author of a scarce volume entitled 'Britaines Glorie; or an Allegorical Dreame with the Exposition thereof: containing the Heathens Infidelitie, the Turkes Blasphemie, the Popes Hypocrisie, Amsterdams Varietie, the Church of...
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carlisle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Carlisle family to Ireland

Some of the Carlisle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carlisle migration to the United States

To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were:

Carlisle Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Carlisle, who arrived in Maryland in 1666 [5]
  • Jone Carlisle, who landed in Maryland in 1666 [5]
  • Susan Carlisle, who landed in Maryland in 1666 [5]
Carlisle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Carlisle who settled in Augusta Virginia in 1730
  • Alexander Carlisle, who arrived in New England in 1743 [5]
Carlisle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Geo Carlisle, who landed in America in 1806 [5]
  • Mary Carlisle, who arrived in America in 1806 [5]
  • William Carlisle, who settled in New England in 1806
  • John Carlisle, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [5]
  • Allen Carlisle, aged 25, who arrived in Virginia in 1812 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Carlisle migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Carlisle Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Robert Carlisle U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [6]

Carlisle migration to Australia

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

Carlisle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Carlisle, aged 38, a painter, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Epaminondas" [7]

Carlisle 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:

Carlisle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. J. B. Carlisle, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Derwent Water" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 26th November 1861 [8]
  • James Carlisle, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Parsee" in 1873
  • Miss Minnie Carlisle, (b. 1856), aged 22, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Invercargill" arriving in New Zealand on 2nd October 1878, en-route to Ivercargill, South Island, New Zealand [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Carlisle (post 1700)

  • Brandon Carlisle (1978-2015), American punk rock drummer for the Teenage Bottlerocket
  • Mary Carlisle (b. 1912), retired American actress and singer, one of the "WAMPAS Baby Stars" in 1932
  • Kitty Carlisle (1910-2007), born Catherine Conn, American singer and actress, best remembered as a regular panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth
  • John Griffin Carlisle (1834-1910), American politician, 35th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (1883-1889)
  • Jodi Carlisle (b. 1960), American actress, active since 1982
  • Cooper Morrison Carlisle (b. 1977), American NFL football guard
  • Cliff Carlisle (1903-1983), American country and blues singer
  • Belinda Jo Carlisle (b. 1958), American pop vocalist, best known as the lead vocalist of the Go-Go's
  • Orville H. Carlisle (1917-1988), American inventor of model rocketry [9]
  • Peter Benson Carlisle (b. 1952), American Prosecuting Attorney of Honolulu from 1996 to 2010
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Carlisle family

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Robert Wayne Carlisle, American Seaman First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [10]

You May Also Like


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) EPAMINONDAS 1852. Retrieved
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  9. ^ Orville Carlisle. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Orville Carlisle. Retrieved from
  10. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from
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