Carter (name)

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For other uses, see Carter.
Carter (name)
Family name
Meaning "transports goods by cart"
Region of origin Ireland, Scotland, England
Language(s) of origin Gaelic
Related names McCarthy, McArthur, McCartney, McCarter
Footnotes: Frequency Comparisons:[1]

Carter is a family name, and also may be a given name. Carter is of Irish, Scottish and English origin and is an occupational name given to one who transports goods by cart or wagon originally believed to be of Gaelic and Celtic origins and a possible form of the names McCarthy, McArthur, McCartney or McCarter. Mc generally means son of.[2] However, it is known to be from the Gaelic word cairt meaning cart. It is the 44th most common surname in the United States, 56th most common in the United Kingdom, 523rd most common in Ireland, and 274th in Scotland.[1] Being of Gaelic and Celtic origins the name originated in Ireland and Scotland and later migrated to England where it was reduced to its English pronunciation and form.

People of European heritage bearing this surname may trace their ancestors back to Ireland, England or Scotland, many of these name holders ancestors escaped Ireland during the Irish diaspora heading to Great Britain, the American colonies typically the colonies of New York, Massachusetts, Georgia and Virginia. Other immigrants entered the United States later during the Great Famine of Ireland in the 1840s and later. The Irish counties with the highest amount of families having this surname are Laois, Galway, Meath and Leitrim; Laois seems to be the place where most Carters settled or where the name began in origin. Within the past 150 to 200 years, the Carter surname has been adopted widely by the African American community, either with ethnic black and Irish mixing or taken from slavemasters by former slaves. This name is common among African Americans capable of tracing their roots back to the southern United States from the early 20th century onward.

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  • Ian Carter (born 1967), British-born Canadian soccer player

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  • Quincy Carter (born 1977), American professional football player

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  • Yannick Carter (born 1984), Canadian football linebacker
  • Yvonne Carter (1959–2009), British doctor and Dean of Warwick Medical School

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