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Is Carroll a common Irish name?

Irish surnames are a fascinating aspect of Irish genealogy, and the Carroll name is no exception. People often ask if Carroll is a common Irish name because they are curious about its origin and the prevalence of the surname in Ireland. In this blog post, we will explore the history and distribution of the Carroll surname in Ireland, looking at its origins, etymology, and frequency in different regions.

The Origins of the Carroll Surname

The Carroll surname is derived from the Irish language name “Cearbhall” or “Cearúil,” which means “fierce in battle.” This name was originally used before the introduction of surnames to distinguish individuals who were known for their bravery on the battlefield. Later on, as surnames became more prevalent in Ireland, the name became hereditary.

The Distribution of the Carroll Surname

The first thing to note is that the Carroll name is fairly widespread across Ireland, although it is most common in the counties of Laois, Kilkenny, and Offaly. According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, there were 13,089 people with the Carroll surname in Ireland in 2016, making it the 73rd most common surname in the country.

The Carroll Name in County Laois

County Laois has the highest concentration of people with the Carroll name in Ireland, with over 2,000 individuals bearing the surname. This is not surprising given that the Carroll name has been associated with Laois for centuries. The Carrolls of Ely O’Carroll were a powerful clan that ruled the area for many generations. They were known for their military prowess and were frequently engaged in battles with neighboring clans. Today, many people with the Carroll name in Laois can trace their roots back to this powerful clan.

The Carroll Name in County Kilkenny

County Kilkenny also has a significant number of people with the Carroll name, with over 1,800 individuals bearing the surname. The Carroll name has strong roots in Kilkenny, and many Carrolls in the county can trace their ancestry back to the powerful Norman family that settled in the area in the 12th century. The Carroll family became one of the most prominent families in the area, and their name still resonates in Kilkenny today.

The Carroll Name in County Offaly

County Offaly has the third highest number of people with the Carroll name in Ireland, with just under 1,800 individuals bearing the surname. The Carroll name has been associated with Offaly for centuries, and the county has given rise to some of the most famous Carrolls in Irish history, such as Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence.

The Carroll Name in the Rest of Ireland

Outside of Laois, Kilkenny, and Offaly, the Carroll name is still fairly common, but not as prevalent. The surname is found in most parts of Ireland, with the highest concentrations in Dublin, Cork, and Wexford. The scattering of the Carroll name across the country is a testament to the resilience of the Irish people and the adaptability of the Carroll family.


In conclusion, the Carroll name is a common Irish surname that has its origins in the Irish language name “Cearbhall” or “Cearúil,” meaning “fierce in battle.” It is widespread across Ireland but is most common in the counties of Laois, Kilkenny, and Offaly. The prominence of the Carroll name in these counties is a testament to the endurance of the Carroll family and their impact on Irish history. Whether you are a Carroll or just interested in Irish genealogy, learning about the history and distribution of this common Irish name can give you valuable insights into the rich heritage of Ireland.


Which part of Ireland is Carroll from?

The surname Carroll has its origins in the ancient kingdom of Éile, commonly anglicized Ely, as a branch of the ruling O’Carroll family. The O’Carroll family is one of the oldest and most prominent in Irish history, with documented evidence tracing their lineage back to the 4th century AD. The Ely O’Carroll come from counties Offaly and Tipperary in Ireland. The sept is also known as Eile and Clan Cian.

The Ely O’Carroll were one of the most powerful clans in Ireland during medieval times, with extensive lands and a history of conflict with other powerful clans such as the O’Neills and the MacDonnells. They were known for their fierce fighting skills and strong sense of honor, and were often sought after as allies by other clans.

Over the centuries, the O’Carroll family went through periods of both prosperity and hardship, with some members achieving great success and others facing difficult challenges. Despite these ups and downs, the family has remained an important part of Irish history and culture to this day.

In modern times, the Carroll surname remains relatively common in Ireland and around the world, with many descendants of the O’Carroll family tracing their roots back to the Ely O’Carroll sept. Today, many Carrolls can be found throughout Ireland, as well as in other countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, where Irish immigrants have settled over the years.

What is the Carroll family motto?

The Carroll family motto is “In fide et in bello fortis,” which translates to “strong in faith and in war.” The O’Carroll family, also known as the Eile O’Carroll, is a prominent Irish clan with a long and illustrious history dating back to the early Middle Ages. The family has played an important role in Irish politics, culture, and society for centuries.

The motto of the Carroll family reflects the values that have been important to the clan throughout its history. Faith has always been a cornerstone of Irish culture, and the Carroll family has been no exception. The motto reflects the importance of having strong beliefs and convictions, which are necessary for individuals to face the challenges of life with courage and resilience.

Moreover, the motto also reflects the role of the Carroll family in Irish military history. The family has a long and distinguished tradition of military service, and many of its members have fought bravely in various conflicts over the centuries. The motto emphasizes the importance of being strong in battle, both physically and mentally. It reflects the courage and determination that have been hallmarks of the Carroll family’s military tradition.

The Carroll family motto, “In fide et in bello fortis,” reflects the values that have been important to the clan throughout its long and distinguished history. The motto emphasizes the importance of faith and conviction, as well as the courage and strength required to face the challenges of life, whether in times of peace or war.

What is the most common surname by Irish county?

The most common surname in Ireland is Murphy. This name can be found throughout the country, in all four provinces. It is worth noting that in Ireland, surnames are often associated with particular counties, and this is true of Murphy as well. In some counties, such as Cork, Kerry, and Wexford, Murphy is particularly prevalent. In other counties, such as Antrim, Armagh, Roscommon, Sligo, and Tyrone, it is also a common surname.

Murphy is an ancient Irish name that derives from the Gaelic term “ó Murchú,” meaning “descendant of Murchadh.” Murchadh was a popular first name in Ireland during the Middle Ages, and many people took it as their surname. The name was first recorded in the annals of the Four Masters in the 10th century, and from then on it became increasingly common.

The popularity of the Murphy surname in Ireland underscores the enduring importance of family and heritage to Irish culture. Today, many people around the world with Irish roots proudly bear the name Murphy, which serves as a testament to their Irish heritage and connection to the land of their ancestors.

What is the origin of the first name Carroll?

Carroll is a first name that is derived from the Irish language. The name is originally spelled in the Irish language as “Cearbhall,” and it is pronounced as “care-ull.” The name has been around for centuries and has a rich history in Irish culture.

The name Carroll has several different meanings. It can translate to mean “hacking with a weapon,” “fierce in battle,” or “man of the sea.” These meanings are believed to have originated from the name’s Gaelic roots. The name is also found in many variations such as Carol, Caroll, and Carrol.

Carroll was a popular name in Ireland, and its popularity spread throughout Europe over time. It was also introduced to North America by Irish immigrants, and the name has become common in the United States. The name was widely used in the early 20th century until World War II, after which it saw a decline in popularity.

Many notable individuals throughout history have had the name Carroll. One of the most famous individuals with the name is Lewis Carroll, the author of “Alice in Wonderland.” Carroll O’Connor, who played Archie Bunker in the hit TV show “All in the Family,” was also a well-known figure.

The origin of the first name Carroll can be traced back to Ireland. Its history is deeply rooted in Irish culture, and the name has several different meanings, including “hacking with a weapon,” “fierce in battle,” and “man of the sea.” The name has been popular for centuries and has produced many notable individuals throughout history.

Is there a Carroll tartan?

Carroll is a popular surname with Irish ancestry. There are many people with this surname worldwide who are interested in wearing a tartan that represents their family or their clan. If you are one of them and wondering if there is a Carroll tartan, the answer is yes.

The Carroll tartan is a beautiful and unique tartan that features green, blue, black, and white colors. It was designed by Michael Carroll and was registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans on June 13, 2008. The design was inspired by his family’s Irish heritage and represents the strong connection between Scotland and Ireland.

However, it is important to note that the Carroll tartan registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans is specifically for the “Avalon – Carroll House” and not for the Carroll clan. This means that the tartan is associated with a particular family rather than a broader ancestral clan.

Nevertheless, if you have any ancestral connection to the Carroll surname or you are a member of the Avalon – Carroll House, you can wear this tartan with pride. The Carroll tartan signifies the rich history and traditions associated with the family and their Irish ancestry. It is a beautiful and unique tartan that you can proudly wear for special occasions, events, or as part of your everyday wardrobe.

If you are looking for a Carroll tartan, the “Avalon – Carroll House” tartan is the one that is officially registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans. However, if you have a different ancestral connection to the Carroll surname, you may want to explore other tartans associated with your ancestral clan to find one that represents your heritage.