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Origins of the Carter surname

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What does the name Carter mean?

Carter is a name of Irish, English and Scottish extraction. The origin of the surname Carter is mostly occupational, deriving from someone who used a wagon or cart to transport goods from place to place. Carter can also stem from the Gaelic word 'cairtear', a description of someone who is a traveller or non-native. The surname Carter is also often used by African Americans as a result of the enslaved being given the surname of their slavers, making it the 22nd most prevalent surname in the Black American community.

Alternative variations of the name Carter

Carter, Carters, Carther, Karter, Cartar

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Where do most Carters live?

In 1921, most Carters lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Carters

How common is your surname?

51st most common surname in the UK

We have 527,000 records for the Carter surname. The oldest one dates back to .

Who were Carters most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Carters.

What are the most common Carter first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Carter family members

Common jobs for Carters

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Carters in 1921




Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


General Servant


Common Male occupations for Carters in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer


Farm Labourer




Coal Miner


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We found over 530,000 family trees with the Carter surname

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