This name does not appear as a surname before the nineteenth century and is a variant of the Olde Irish name 'Carolan' - meaning 'the descendant of Cearbhall' - a personal name of great antiquity translating as 'the stag'. The name originates in the counties Cavan and Monaghan, and later in Meath. Members of the clan at various times moved to France. In 1847 the Caroline family left Liverpool for America apparently having previously fled the potato famine in Ireland, and this is the earliest confirmed spelling in the new form. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh O'Carolan which was dated 1535 Bishop of Clogher during the reign of King Henry VIII 'Good King Hal!' 1510-1548 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.