MacKerrol History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name MacKerrol 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 MacKerrol family
The surname MacKerrol 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 MacKerrol family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacKerrol 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 MacKerrol History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacKerrol Spelling Variations
Many variations of the name MacKerrol 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 MacKerrol found include O'Carroll, Carroll, Carrel, Carrell, Carrill, Carrol, Carroll, Caryll, Garvil, Garvill and many more.
Early Notables of the MacKerrol 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. 
Charles Carroll (1661-1720), often called Charles Carroll the Settler, to differentiate him from his son and grandson, was a wealthy lawyer...
Migration of the MacKerrol family
The 18th and 19th centuries saw many Irish families immigrate to North America in search of land and opportunities. The largest influx of Irish immigrants to the United States and British North America came during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine laid waste to their homeland. Hundreds of thousands left the island in an attempt to escape the starvation and disease it brought. Although the arrival of such a large number of destitute Irish was not welcomed by the established population in the United States and what would become known as Canada at the time, these Irish were an essential element to the rapid development of these growing industrial nations. They filled the demand for the cheap labor needed for the work in factories and in the construction of bridges, roads, canals, and railways. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many immigrants bearing the name of MacKerrol or one of its variants: John Carroll who settled in Nova Scotia in 1776; Mary Carroll (6 months old) who arrived in Quebec in 1849; Thomas Carroll and his family who arrived in Quebec in 1849.
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.