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CARTER Family History


This is an old ancient name, thought to be originally derived from the Celtic word "cairt" meaning "cart". It is an occupational surname for a transporter of goods, with an elaborate history and derivation. There are four sources for the word, from the Latin "carettarius", from "carrum"; from the Old Norman French "caretier", surviving in modern French surnames such as "cartier", from the Middle English (cart(e)", derived from the Old Norse "kartr" or the Olde English "craet" and finally from the Olde French "charetier", charioteer. All four of these sources have been merged to form the modern English surnames Carter and Charter...


Carter (Variants: Carters) Another alternative origins of this surname are ‘guard’ which is derived from the Old English word Caretarius or Carda. In Gaelic, although Carter relative to ‘cairt’, it also relates to Cairtear, a tourist, a sojourner. A Irish reduced form of McCarter.

The earliest reference recorded in relation to Carter appears in the Latinised form, as Fulco Carettarius in the 1177 Pipe Rolls for Cambridgeshire.

Perhaps the world’s most sublime archaeological find was exposed by Howard Carter (1873 – 1939), a British archaeologist who was originally hired as an artist in Egypt and later went to discover King Tutankhamen’s tomb on 26 November 1922.

Howard Carter had connections with British politician Sir Philip Sassoon, who commissioned Port Lympne - an Edwardian house that overlooks the English Channel in Hythe, Kent. After Sassoon’s death, the mansion was rarely occupied until the late John Aspinall bought the grounds in 1973 to house rare and endangered species of animals and still remains open to the public.

In 1881 Census, there were a popular 2,086 bearers of the surname in Kent. Agricultural Labourer was the most common occupation in the UK, followed by Labourer and Farmer with a less common appearance as Coal Miner. In 1891, the frequency in the England and Wales was 50,594 with fewer residing in Scotland, particularly the Lanarkshire County.


1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Kent

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003 Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London

1890 The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain



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Great Grandfather Edward Carter lived in Bath in early census.


SSG (Rev) Teddy (Carter) later adopted as Sawtelle 2/13/1975 - present


I’m 6 to 7th generation Carter.

Jeffrey Scott carter

I am interested in finding out the history behind my own family. My family isn’t very educated about our history and would like to learn more about my specific ancestors.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Carter name has a long history in British Isles, but now DNA and some recorded history says their origin is from the Emerald Island. The Carter story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup B2] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Carter surname origin is from Clan Domnaill [DNA Tribe R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] and relations who remain in Ireland take the modern surname (O’)Donnelly, McDonald and Donohue in Ireland.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Domnaill name is also found in Brittany, France. It is a very old name which appears in the 5th century Roman inscriptions as Dumnovellaunos in Brittany meaning “Deep Valour” equivalent to Irish Domhnaill. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Carter story begins in pre-history Ireland then moves to Wales where the family can be traced back to their Welsh tribe Cydifor Fawr. An ancestor and many of his kin will then move to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


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