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Mccarley Coat of Arms / Mccarley Family Crest

Mccarley Coat of Arms / Mccarley Family Crest

This surname of McCARLY was derived from the Gaelic MACARDGHAIL, a baptismal name 'the son of Ardghal' a name meaning one of high and super valour. This sept was traditionally a branch of the MacMahons of Oriel, and they are found mostly in their ancestral homeland of County Monaghan, County Antrim and County Louth. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The Irish prefixes of Mac (son of) and O (grandson or descendant of) gave rise at an early date, to a set of fixed hereditary names in which the literal patronymic meaning was lost or obscured. These surnames originally signified membership of a clan, but with the passage of time, the clan system became less distinct, and surnames came to identify membership of what is called a 'sept' of people all living in the same locality, all bearing the same surname, but not necessarily descended from a common ancestor. Adoption of the name by people who did not otherwise have a surname and by their dependants was not uncommon. Later, nicknames were in some cases to supersede the original clan names. The name was taken across to Scotland by settlers, where it is spelt as MACARLY, McARLICHE, McAIRLIE, MacARDLE, MacCARDLE and MacARDELL. Early records of the name in Scotland include Allaster McARLICHE, who was hanged for treason in 1615, and John McAIRLIE appears in Monaltrie in the year 1682. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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