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Irish Surname - Carroll

The Carroll / O'Carroll surname, of Irish origin, is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic 'O'Cearbhaill', meaning 'warlike champion' or 'valorous in battle'.

The O'Cearbhaills were prominent in the Province of Leinster. There were six separate O'Carroll clans in Ireland, in Counties Kerry, Offaly, Monaghan, Tipperary, Leitrim and Louth. Carrolls of Northern origin descend from the MacCearbhaill clan who were located in Ulster particularly near the town of Derry. There is also a MacCarroll family (anglized to MacCarvill) from the province of Ulster.

In 1014, after constant war and invasion by the Vikings, Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, enlisted a powerful army to fight them in battle at Clontarf. A division of Boru's army, the Eilians, was led by the Prince Cearbhaill of the Carroll race. Brian Boru's principal confessor throughout his reign was Maolsuthian O'Carroll, who never left his side. In 1005 Brian Boru visited Armagh and had O'Carroll write into the famouse 'Book of Armagh'.

The Coat of Arms most associated with the Carroll name is on a silver shield two red lions combatant supporting a sword erect in pale proper in the dexter chief point a black cross flory, the Crest being on the stump of a tree a falcon rising billed proper charged on the breast with a black cross flory.

Alternate Surname Spellings

O'Carroll, Carrol, Karrel, Carol

Researching Irish Surnames

We have researched many sources for the origins of Irish surnames and extracted a fair representation of the origins of each. As there are many variations we have compiled a representative, but by no means exhaustive, selection.

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