Carter Name Meaning
English: occupational name for a transporter of goods, Middle English cartere, from an agent derivative of Middle English cart(e) or from Anglo-Norman French car(e)tier, a derivative of Old French caret (see Cartier). The Old French word coalesced with the earlier Middle English word cart(e) 'cart', which is from either Old Norse kartr or Old English craet, both of which, like the Late Latin word, were probably originally derived from Celtic. Northern Irish: reduced form of McCarter.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press
In 1840, the states with the most Carter families were Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
In 1880, the states with the most Carter families were Virginia and Georgia. Carters were living in every state except Oklahoma. Oklahoma was Indian Territory and only opened to white settlement in 1880, so this information is not surprising.
In 1920, the states with the most Carter families were New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas.
The 1891 England & Wales Census shows the largest number of Carter families in London (16%), Yorkshire (10%), and Lancashire (10%).
The 1881 Scotland Census shows the most Carter families in Lanarkshire (33%), Kirkcudbrightshire (27%), and Midlothian (23%). From the Southwest to Northeast, those counties are Kirkcudbrightshire, Lanarkshire, and Midlothian.
Other information that can be found on the site includes the fact that from 1851-1891, Carters immigration (from New York passenger lists) was highest around 1851, 1871, and the mid-1880s. They were coming from the British Isles (2187), Germany (34), and Spain (18). The average life expectancy based on the Social Security Death Index from 1940-2000, shows the Carters are almost exactly on the average with the general public. Carters serving in the Civil War fought almost equally on both sides; Union 4, 055 and Confederate 4, 506. Based on the 1880 census records 47% were working on a farm, 11% were laborers, 6% were keeping house, and 2% were carpenters.
©2013 Pamela Carter