MacKerroll History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name MacKerroll 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 MacKerroll family
The surname MacKerroll 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 MacKerroll family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacKerroll 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 MacKerroll History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacKerroll Spelling Variations
Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name MacKerroll revealed many variations, including O'Carroll, Carroll, Carrel, Carrell, Carrill, Carrol, Carroll, Caryll, Garvil, Garvill and many more.
Early Notables of the MacKerroll 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 MacKerroll family
Under the rule of England, land ownership in Ireland changed dramatically, and many native Irish families found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of MacKerroll 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.