This surname of O'CAIRBRE is of both Irish and Scottish origin. In Ireland the name is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic O'CARIBRE and MAC CAIRBRE meaning 'descendant' and son of Cairbre, a byname which perhaps meant Charioteer. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. In Scotland it was a habitation name from a place in the parish of Inveresk, Lothian, first recorded in the form CREBARRIN, from the Gaelic 'craobh' (tree) and 'barren' (hedge). Early records of the name mention Johannes de Crebarrin filius Gilleberti de Crebarrin, who made two grants of lands from his territory of Crebarrin, circa 1230, and about the same period Adam filius Patricii de Crebarrin gifted four bovates (an ancient land measure) of his land of Crebarrin to the Abbey of Dunfermelin. Alexander Crabarri, was a juor on forfeited estates in Lothian in 1312, and William Carbery M.A. was petitioned for a canonry of Aberdeen in 1406. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Kilbride.
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