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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish


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.

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The surname Carr was 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. They were both listed in the Roll of Battle Abbey as having descended from the Norman Karre. [1] The Kerrs of Cessford were descended from Ralph, and the Kerrs of Ferniehurst were descended from John.

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.


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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.

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

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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.

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

Carr Settlers in 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 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 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 United States in the 20th Century


  • Christian Carr, who landed in Arkansas in 1904

Carr Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • John Carr at St. John's, Newfoundland in the late 1700's
  • Henry Carr, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Eliza Carr, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mrs. Carr, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Mr. Daniel Carr U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783


Carr Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Bridget Carr, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • David Carr, who landed in Canada in 1830
  • William Carr, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Margaret Carr, aged 30, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Eliza Carr, aged 10, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast


Carr Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • Miss M Carr, who landed in St John, New Brunswick in 1907

Carr Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Matthew Carr, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Henry Carr arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838
  • Emily Carr arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838
  • Maria Carr arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838
  • Robert Carr arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Poictiers" in 1848


Carr Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Henry Carr landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • Robert C. Carr arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861
  • Edmund Carr arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Morning Star" in 1861
  • Emma Carr arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Morning Star" in 1861
  • Ebenezer Carr arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Morning Star" in 1861


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  • David Michael Carr (1956-2015), American writer, columnist, and author for the New York Times
  • Brigadier-General Lawrence Joseph Carr (1899-1972), American Commanding General 7th Bomber Command (1944-1945)
  • Catherine Carr (b. 1954), American Olympic Swimmer, recipient of two gold medals in 1972 Olympic Games
  • Archie Fairly Carr KCVO (1909-1987), American herpetologist, ecologist and a pioneering conservationist
  • Vikki Carr (b. 1941), born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona, American Grammy Award-winning entertainer
  • Mary Carr, American Republican politician, Candidate for Arizona State House of Representatives 23rd District, 1998
  • Michael Carr, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1980
  • Mike Carr (b. 1947), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 2004
  • Milton Robert Carr (b. 1943), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Michigan, 1975-81, 1983-95; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1980; Candidate for U.S. Senator from Michigan, 1994
  • N. James Carr, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1952, 1956, 1964

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  • Ancestors and Descendants of Amasa Carr by Charles Carr.
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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.

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  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  4. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  5. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  6. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  7. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  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 9 February 2016 at 09:15.

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