Show ContentsMcCarrison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McCarrison is an ancient Scottish name that was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. It is a name for someone who lived in Dumfriesshire, where the first mention of the family was of Morris Acarson, Bailiff of the Isle of Man, appointed by King Alexander I of Scotland about 1100 A.D. This is the same person as Mauritius Okarefair. [1]

The family "was provosts of Dumfries for several generations and were also prominent in local affairs of Kirkcudbrightshire. No value need be attached to the tradition of descent from an Italian named Corsini reputed to have been brought to Scotland by Dervorgilla to superintend the building of Sweetheart Abbey. Everything points to native origin. " [1]

Early Origins of the McCarrison family

The surname McCarrison was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, where they are believed to be descended from the Irish Clan MacCarrghama of the Hy Fiachra and arrived on the south west Scottish coast about the 9th century.

Sir Robert de Acarson (or de Carsan), a cleric witnessed a charter of Holm Cultram in 1276 and it may be the same Robert de Carsan who rendered homage to Edward I in 1296. [1]

"Laughlan, son of Laughlan de Carsan and Dovenald, son of Thomas de Carsan were among some Galloway hostages lodged in Carlisle. In 1305 John Acarson and others took the castle of Dumfries from its garrison. Morice Acrassane and Gilbert were jurors on an inquisition at Drumfrese, 1367." [1]

Early History of the McCarrison family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCarrison research. Another 270 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1305, 1374, 1377, 1373, 1374, 1394, 1445, 1180, 1453, 1503, 1531, 1665, 1772, 1843, 1799, 1808, 1808, 1776, 1844, 1776 and are included under the topic Early McCarrison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCarrison Spelling Variations

Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. McCarrison has been spelled Carson, Carsen and others.

Early Notables of the McCarrison family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was James Carson M.D. (1772-1843), Scottish physician who was originally educated for the ministry, but his inclination leading him to the study of physic, he attended medical classes at Edinburgh, and graduated doctor of medicine there in the autumn of 1799 (inaugural essay, 'De Viribus quibus Sanguis circumvehitur'). He then removed to Liverpool, where he remained for the greater part of his professional career. In 1808 his name came prominently before the public in connection with the case of Charles Angus, a Liverpool merchant, who was charged with the murder of Miss Margaret Burns...
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCarrison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McCarrison family to Ireland

Some of the McCarrison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 129 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McCarrison migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them:

McCarrison Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William McCarrison, aged 22, originally from Lisburn, Scotland, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Orduna" from Liverpool, England [2]
  • Robert McCarrison, aged 43, originally from Coonoor, India, who arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Carmania" from Southampton, England [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McCarrison (post 1700) +

  • Dugald McCarrison (b. 1969), Scottish former footballer who played from 1987 to 1996
  • Sir Robert McCarrison (1878-1960), Northern Irish physician and nutritionist, born in Ireland he joined the Indian Medical Service and was posted as Medical Officer to Indian troops guarding the mountainous Northern Frontiers, he later became Director of Nutritional Research in India in 1928, founder of the McCarrison Society

The McCarrison 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: Ne m'oubliez
Motto Translation: Don't forget me.

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from on Facebook