An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2013
Origins Available: Irish, Scottish
Where did the Scottish Kerr family come from? What is the Scottish Kerr family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kerr family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kerr 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 Kerr 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 Kerr has also been spelled Kerr, Car, Carr, Ker, Cearr (Gaelic) and many more.
First found in Lancashire, 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 Kerr 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, 1680 and 1741 are included under the topic Early Kerr History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 191 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Kerr family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 259 words(18 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 Kerr name or one of its variants:
Kerr Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century
Kerr Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
Kerr Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century
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.
A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...More
Septs of the Distinguished Name Kerr
Car, Caray, Care, Caree, Carees, Cares, Carey, Careys, Carie, Carr, Carray, Carre, Carrees, Carrey, Carreys, Carrie, Carries, Carrs, Carry, Carrys, Cary, Carys, Cearr, Cessford, Curr, Garr, Harie, Harrie, Harry, Kare, Karr, Karre, Kary, Kearey, Kearie, Kearrie, Keerey, Keerie, Keery, Keir, Keirey, Keirie, Keiry, Ker, Kerr, Kier, Kiers, Maccarry, MacGhillechearr, MacHarie and more.
The Kerr Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kerr 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 17 May 2013 at 10:38.
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