AuthorRev Patrick Woulfe
SourceIrish Names and Surnames

Ó CEARBHAILL—IO Carrowill, O Carwell, O Carvill, O'Carroll, Carroll, Carvill; 'descendant of Cearbhall' (a very common Irish personal name). There are several distinct families so named, of which the following are the best known: (1) Ó Cearbhaill of Eile, who derive their name and descent from Cearbhall, lord of Eile, who fought at Clontarf. The head of this family was originally lord of all Eile, which comprised the baronies of Clonlisk and Ballybritt, in the present Offaly, and Ikerrin and Eliogarty, in Co. Tipperary; but after the Anglo-Norman invasion, Ikerrin and Eliogarty became tributary to the Earl of Ormond, and only the portion of Eile subsequently called Ely O'Carroll, remained in possession of O'Carroll, who resided at Birr. This family is now very numerous. (2) Ó Cearbhaill, of Oriel. This family is of the same stock as the MacMahons and Maguires, and were chiefs of Oriel until about the period of the Anglo-Norman invasion, when they disappear from history. They are still numerous in Monaghan and Louth. (3) Ó Cearbhaill of Loch Lein, anciently chiefs of the Eoghanacht of Loch Lein, the district about Killarney, until dispossessed by the O'Donoghues. (4) Ó Cearbhaill of Ossory who are descended from Cearbhall, a celebrated chieftain of Ossory at the middle of the 9th century. (5) Ó Cearbhaill, of Tara, a branch of the southern Ui Neill. This family disappeared from history at an early period. (6) Ó Cearbhaill of Calry, in Sligo and Leitrim. The MacBradys of Cavan are said, but erroneously, to be a branch of this family.

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Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames