What is the origin of the last name Carson?

The last name Carson originated from the Old Norse name "Kárr," meaning "curly-haired one" or "farmer," and the English surname suffix "-son," denoting "son of." This patronymic surname suggests that the early bearers were descendants or kin of someone named Kárr, perhaps denoting their physical appearance or occupation. Over time, the name evolved and was adopted by families of various backgrounds, resulting in its wide spread and continued usage today.

Countries of origin for the last name Carson

The last name Carson is of Scottish and Irish origin. It is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name MacCathmhaoil, which means “son of the battle chief” or “son of the generous chief.” The surname Carson is derived from the personal name “Cathmhaoil,” which is composed of the elements “cath” meaning “battle” and “mhaol” meaning “chief” or “ruler.”

The name Carson is relatively common in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the name is predominantly found in the areas of Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire, and Aberdeen. In Northern Ireland, the name is particularly associated with County Antrim.

The Carson surname was first recorded in Scotland in the 15th century, specifically in Dumfries. Over time, individuals with the surname Carson migrated to other parts of Scotland and also to Northern Ireland.

One notable individual with the last name Carson is Johnny Carson, a renowned American television host and comedian who hosted “The Tonight Show” for almost three decades. Although Johnny Carson’s ancestors were not of Scottish or Irish descent, his surname demonstrates the widespread adoption of the name among various ethnicities and nationalities. The popularity of the Carson surname can be attributed to its simplicity, distinctiveness, and association with notable individuals.

Research on the meaning and etymology of last names, such as the name Carson, can provide valuable insights into family histories and ancestral origins. By delving into the past, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their roots, cultural connections, and historical context. While the facts surrounding last names like Carson may offer clarity and a sense of completion, they also leave room for imagination, exploration, and the possibility of discovering new connections and nuances within the vast world of genealogy.

Interesting facts about the last name Carson

  • The surname Carson is of Scottish and Irish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic personal name “Cathasach,” meaning “vigilant” or “watchful.”
  • The name Carson was first found in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Carson include politician and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, television host Johnny Carson, and author Rachel Carson.
  • The surname Carson is fairly common in the United States and is ranked 854th in terms of frequency.
  • Carson is also used as a given name, particularly in North America, where it has gained popularity in recent years.
  • Famous fictional characters with the surname Carson include Downton Abbey’s Charles Carson, the butler, and Kit Carson, a legendary frontiersman in American history.
  • Carson City, the capital of Nevada, was named after the famous frontiersman Kit Carson.
  • The surname Carson can also be spelled Karson or Karsson.
  • The Carson family motto is “Ne m’oubliez” or “Forget Me Not.”

Name Rank


There are around 56872 people with the last name Carson in the US

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