Carolyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Carolyn 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 Carolyn family

The surname Carolyn 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 Carolyn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carolyn 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 Carolyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carolyn Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname Carolyn can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings 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.

Early Notables of the Carolyn 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 Carolyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Carolyn migration to Australia +

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

Carolyn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Carolyn, (b. 1835), aged 21, Cornish farm servant travelling from Plymouth, Devon, UK aboard the ship "Aliquis" arriving in Adelaide, Australia on 26th August 1856 [1]
  • Mr. William Carolyn, (b. 1837), aged 19, Cornish farm servant travelling from Plymouth, Devon, UK aboard the ship "Aliquis" arriving in Adelaide, Australia on 26th August 1856 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Carolyn (post 1700) +

  • Dame Frances Carolyn Saunders D.B.E., C.B., FREng, FInstP (b. 1954), British Scientist and former civil servant, was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Science and to Engineering [2]
  • Ms. Heather Carolyn Smart M.B.E., British Firefighter for Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to the Advancement of Women in the Fire and Rescue Service [2]
  • Adele Carolyn Morales (1925-2015), American painter and memoirist, second wife of American author-playwright Norman Mailer
  • Julia Carolyn McWilliams (1912-2004), birth name of Julia Child, American chef, author, and television personality, recipient of the three Emmys, five more Emmy nominations and a Peabody Award
  • Ann Carolyn Telnaes (b. 1960), American (Swedish born) editorial cartoonist awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning
  • Marcia Carolyn Kaptur (b. 1946), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Ohio 9th District, 1983-; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 [3]
  • Carolyn Reidy (1949-2020), American business executive, President and CEO of the American publishing company Simon & Schuster
  • Carolyn Roddy, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Georgia, 2008 [4]
  • Dame Carolyn Paula Hamilton D.B.E. (b. 1951), born in Hendon, London, British Director for International Programmes and Research for Coram Children’s Legal Centre was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017, for services to Children’s Rights
  • Dr. Carolyn Browne C.M.G. (b. 1958), born in Yorkshire, British former H.M. Ambassado for Astana, Kazakhstan was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George on 17th June 2017, for services to British foreign policy


The Carolyn 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. ^ The Ships List Passenger Lists Ship Aliquis (Retrieved 26th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/aliquis1856.shtml
  2. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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