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Clan MacCarley

Mc is an abbreviation of the prefix Mac, which means 'son of'.  According to "The Surnames of Scotland" by George F. Black, PhD., McCarley is an anglicized form of MacCarlich, which means 'son of Charles'.  It is no wonder that the McCarleys have spelled their name so many ways in America. They were just following a pattern began in Scotland where it has been documented as MacThearlaich, MaKarlich, McKearly, McCarlie, McCarlyct, McCarliche, McKerlich, and McTarlichare as well as others.  McKerley, MacKerlie, and Macerlich were a common surname in Breadalbane about 2 or 3 hundred years ago.

There are several indications that McCarlich's were of the Campbell Clan.  "Archibald M'Kerlich in Finlarg was a vassal of Campbell of Glenurquhay in 1638."  "M'Cairlich and Charlieson...appear to have been Campbells originally, and in Argyllshire they appear under the old name of M'Kerliche."