Show ContentsCarol History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Carol has undergone many variations in the time that has passed since its genesis. In Gaelic it appeared as Cearbhaill, which is derived from the name of Cearbhal, the Lord of Ely who helped King Brian Boru lead the Irish to victory over the Danes at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Donnchad Ua Cerbaill or Donnchadh Ó Cearbhaill was King of Airgíalla, fl. c. 1130-1168. Maol Ruanaidh Cam Ó Cearbhaill, sometimes Anglicized as Cam O'Kayrwill (died 10 June 1329) was a notable Irish harpist and player of the tiompan who was murdered with many others at the Braganstown Massacre.

Early Origins of the Carol family

The surname Carol was first found in counties Tipperary, Offaly, Monaghan and Louth. Through their connection with Cearbal, they descend from King Oilioll Olum.

There were six distinct O'Carroll septs prior to the Anglo-Norman Conquest. While four disintegrated before the end of the 13th century, the two most important septs continued. These were O'Carroll of Ely O'Carroll, from the counties of Tipperary and Offaly, and O'Carroll of Oriel, from the counties of Monagan and Louth.

While the Oriel O'Carrolls disappeared as an official sept resulting from the Anglo-Norman Conquest, the members of that sept were not scattered, but remained mainly within their ancient territories. However, the O'Carrolls of Ely O'Carroll managed to maintain their independence and heritage until the end of the 16th century, and continued to play an important role in Irish history.

They formerly held large territories in the county of Tipperary, but were confined to the area around Birr in the county of Offaly by the rise of the powerful Norman Butlers.

Early History of the Carol family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carol research. Another 200 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1172, 1451, 1600, 1916, 1625, 1711, 1661, 1720, 1735, 1815, 1737, 1832, 1789, 1792, 1602 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Carol History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carol Spelling Variations

Many variations of the name Carol were found in archives from the Middle Ages. The spelling and language in which the people's names were recorded was often up to the individual scribe. Variations of the name Carol found include O'Carroll, Carroll, Carrel, Carrell, Carrill, Carrol, Carroll, Caryll, Garvil, Garvill and many more.

Early Notables of the Carol family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was John Caryll (1625-1711), 1st Baron Caryll of Durford who came of an ancient Roman Catholic family, which had been settled, from the close of the sixteenth century, at West Harting in Sussex. [1] Charles Carroll (1661-1720), often called Charles Carroll the Settler, to differentiate him from his son and grandson, was a wealthy lawyer...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carol Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carol Ranking

In the United States, the name Carol is the 17,414th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2] However, in New Zealand, the name Carol is ranked the 903rd most popular surname with an estimated 814 people with that name. [3]

United States Carol migration to the United States +

In the 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Irish people immigrated to North American shores. The early settlers were enticed by the promise of their own land, but they were moderately well off in Ireland when they decided to emigrate. Therefore, they were merely carrying out a long and carefully thought out decision. The 1840s saw the emergence of a very different trend: thousands of extremely desperate people crammed into passenger boats hoping to find any type of opportunity. The Irish of this decade had seen their homeland severely stricken by crop failures which resulted in widespread disease and starvation. At whatever time the Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental in the rapid development of the emerging nations of the United States and what would become known as Canada. An exhaustive search of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many persons bearing the name Carol, or one of its variants:

Carol Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Philip Carol, who arrived in Maryland in 1679 [4]
Carol Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Carol, who landed in Mississippi in 1799 [4]
Carol Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Carol, aged 22, who landed in America in 1822 [4]
  • Francisco Carol, aged 30, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1854 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Carol (post 1700) +

  • Jo Carol Pierce (1944-2022), American singer-songwriter, playwright, and screenwriter, known for Grand Champion (2002), Never Leave Nevada (1990) and Love in the Sixties (2014)
  • Arlene Carol Dahl (1925-2021), American actress and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer star, who achieved notability during the 1950s., known for Journey to the Center of the Earth, A Southern Yankee, Reign of Terror, mother ofthe actor Lorenzo Lamas
  • Joyce Carol Thomas (1938-2016), American poet, playwright, motivational speaker and author, perhaps best known for her 1982 novel Marked by Fire, which won a National Book Award and an American Book Award
  • Ms. Lesley Carol Smith M.B.E. (b. 1962), British Emergency Response Volunteer for British Red Cross, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for voluntary service to the Red Cross [5]
  • Glynis Carol Goodburn (b. 1951), birth name of Glynis Penny, an English retired female long-distance runner from England, who competed in the late 1970s and early 1980s
  • Dame Heather Carol Hallett DBE (b. 1949), English judge of the Court of Appeal
  • Lisa Carol Camilleri (b. 1983), Australian professional squash player, WSA 'Cardwell' Comeback Player of the Year in 2013
  • Mae Carol Jemison (b. 1956), American physician and former NASA Astronaut with over 190 hours in space, the first African American woman to travel in space [6]
  • Glynis Carol Penny (b. 1951), née Goodburn, an English retired female long-distance runner
  • Janet Carol Wolfenbarger (b. 1958), United States Air Force four-star general, 8th and current Commander, Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio

The Carol 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: In Fide et in Bello Fortis
Motto Translation: Strong in both faith and war.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. "Most Common Last Names in New Zealand." Forebears,
  4. 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)
  5. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  6. NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Mae Jemison. Retrieved from on Facebook