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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Carr family come from? What is the Scottish Carr family crest and coat of arms? When did the Carr family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Carr family history?

The earliest forms of hereditary surnames in Scotland were the patronymic surnames, which are derived from the father's given name, and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the mother's given name. Scottish patronymic names emerged as early as the mid-9th century. The patronyms were derived from a variety of given names that were of many different origins. The surname Carr is derived from the Gaelic name O'Ciarain or O'Ceirin, which itself comes from the Gaelic word ciar, which means black or dark brown.


The frequent translations of surnames from and into Gaelic, accounts for the multitude of spelling variations found in Scottish surnames. Furthermore, the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent because medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. The different versions of a surname, such as the inclusion of the patronymic prefix "Mac", frequently indicated a religious or Clan affiliation, or even a division of the family. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into Scotland, accelerating accentuating the alterations to various surnames. The name Carr has also been spelled Kerr, Car, Carr, Ker, Cearr (Gaelic) and many more.

First found in Lancashire (located in northwest England and dates back to 1180), where one of the earliest records of a progenitor of the Clan was a John Ker, hunter, resident of Soonhope in 1190 AD. He is believed to have received a grant of land from the Crown and settled in the Border country of Scotland soon after the Norman invasion moved northwards. Within a century, two main branches evolved from two brothers, Ralph and John who lived near Jedburgh in c. 1330. The Kerr's of Cessford were descended from Ralph, and the Kerr's of Ferniehurst were descended from John.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carr research. Another 343 words(24 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1205, 1264, 1296, 1350, 1553, 1609, 1606, 1570, 1650, 1616, 1578, 1654, 1570, 1650, 1675, 1605, 1675, 1615, 1684, 1624, 1690, 1680, 1741, 1600, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Carr History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 211 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Carr family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 297 words(21 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first North American settlers with Carr name or one of its variants:

Carr Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • George Carr, who landed in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1633
  • Caleb Carr (1624-1695), aged 11, arrived in America in 1635 aboard the ship Elizabeth and Anne; he rose to become the 16th Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1695
  • Rich Carr, aged 29, landed in America in 1635
  • Antho Carr, who landed in Virginia in 1642
  • Fran Carr, who landed in Virginia in 1651

Carr Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Catherine Carr, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Thos Carr, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • John Carr settled in Virginia in 1716
  • Conrad Carr, who arrived in North Carolina in 1764
  • Michael Carr, who arrived in America in 1764

Carr Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Dennis Carr, aged 22, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Jos Carr, who landed in America in 1805
  • John Carr, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Charles Carr, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Alexander Carr, who landed in America in 1811

Carr Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Christian Carr, who landed in Arkansas in 1904


  • William Arthur Carr (1909-1966), American track athlete known as the Arkansas Flyer, who won two gold medals in the 1932 Olympics
  • Vikki Carr (b. 1941), born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona, American Grammy Award-winning entertainer
  • Gerald Carr (b. 1932), American astronaut who established a world record for longest manned space flight (84 days), on Skylab 4
  • Sergeant Chris Carr (1914-1970), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Archie Fairly Carr KCVO (1909-1987), American herpetologist, ecologist and a pioneering conservationist
  • Catherine Carr (b. 1954), American Olympic Swimmer, recipient of two gold medals in 1972 Olympic Games
  • Brigadier-General Lawrence Joseph Carr (1899-1972), American Commanding General 7th Bomber Command (1944-1945)
  • Emily Carr (1871-1945), Canadian landscape painter, member of the Group of Seven
  • George Shoobridge Carr (1837-1914), British mathematician, author of "Synopsis of Pure and Applied Mathematics"
  • Edwin Carr (1926-2003), New Zealand classical composer



  • Ancestors and Descendants of Amasa Carr by Charles Carr.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sero sed serio
Motto Translation: Late but in earnest.



  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  3. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  4. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Carr Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Carr Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 October 2014 at 02:00.

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