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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Marr family come from? When did the Marr family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Marr family history?

In Scottish history, few names go farther back than Marr, whose ancestors lived among the clans of the Pictish tribe. They lived in a place called Mar, which was in the county of Aberdeen. It may come from the Old Norse word marr, which was an extremely rare word, that was usually associated with the sea, but sometimes referred to a marsh or a fen. In this sense, Marr would be a habitational name.

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The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Marr has been spelled Marr, Mar, Marre, Mare and others.

First found in Yorkshire, where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Marr research. Another 394 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1120, 1296, and 1353 are included under the topic Early Marr History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Marr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Marr:

Marr Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Christopher Marr settled in Virginia in 1715
  • Alexander Marr who settled in Maryland in 1747
  • James Marr settled in Virginia in 1774

Marr Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • George, Jacob, John, Peter and Thomas Marr arrived in Pennsylvania between 1800 and 1870

Marr Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Marr arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Timaru" in 1870

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  • Walter Lorenzo Marr (1865-1941), American automaker, founder of the Marr Auto-Car Company in 1903, and later the first Chief Engineer for Buick in 1904
  • Barbara La Marr (1896-1926), born Reatha Dale Watson, an American stage and film actress, known as "The Girl Who Is Too Beautiful"
  • David Francis Marr Jr. (1933-1997), American professional PGA golfer and sportscaster
  • Andrew Marr (b. 1959), British journalist
  • Leslie Marr (b. 1922), British former racing driver
  • Sir Charles William Clanan Marr KCVO (1880-1960), Australian politician
  • Johnny Marr (b. 1963), English songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player, and singer
  • David Courtnay Marr (1945-1980), British neuroscientist and psychologist, eponym of the Marr Prize
  • David Ewan Marr (b. 1947), Australian journalist, author, and progressive political and social commentator
  • Alfred Marr (1862-1940), Australian cricketer

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 19 December 2014 at 12:05.

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