McCarn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name McCarn has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. Generally, the original Gaelic form of the name McCarn is said to be O Cearnaigh, from the word "cearnach," which means "victorious." However, in some instances, especially the roots of the present day spelling of Kearney, the surname derives from the Gaelic "O Catharnaigh," meaning "warlike."

Early Origins of the McCarn family

The surname McCarn was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times and were a branch of the Ui Fiachrach.

Early History of the McCarn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCarn research. Another 230 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1199 and 1721 are included under the topic Early McCarn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCarn Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name McCarn dating from that time include Carney, Carnie, McCarney, MacCarney, O'Carney, Kearney and many more.

Early Notables of the McCarn family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early McCarn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McCarn migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the McCarn family relocated to North American shores quite early:

McCarn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Lizzie McCarn, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States from Mullingar, in 1899
McCarn Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mary McCarn, aged 1, who landed in America from Ballykellon, in 1905
  • James William McCarn, aged 53, who arrived at New York, in 1918
  • William McCarn, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921
  • Thomas McCarn, aged 34, who landed in America, in 1923
  • Robert McCarn, aged 29, who immigrated to America, in 1924

Canada McCarn migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McCarn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary McCarn, aged 36, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833

Australia McCarn migration to Australia +

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

McCarn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert McCarn, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Joseph Soames" [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name McCarn (post 1700) +

  • Louise McCarn, American television writer, best known for her work for Walker, Texas Ranger (1993)


The McCarn 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: Sustine et abstine
Motto Translation: Sustain and abstain.


  1. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOSEPH SOMES / SOAMES 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850JosephSomes.htm


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