Carr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Carr family

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.

Now we draw the reader's attention to a slightly different origin with a different timeline but similar. "Two brothers, of Anglo-Norman descent., who bore this name [Karre] are said to have settled in Scotland during the 13th century. No one known which was the elder of the two, for 'neither house would yield the superiority to the other, forming two distinct races of war-like Border chieftains.' The Kerrs of Fernihirst are represented by the Marquesses of Lothian, the Kers of Cessord by the Dukes of Roxburghe." [2]

We believe that the reference to the 13th century is a typo, as it should have read 14th century (the 1300's) not the 1200's.

Early History of the Carr family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carr research. Another 172 words (12 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Carr Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Carr family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was Mark Kerr (1553-1609), of Ferniehurst, who was made 1st Earl of Lothian in 1606; Robert Ker (1570-1650) of Cessford, who was created the 1st Earl of Roxburghe in 1616; Robert Kerr (or Carr), 1st Earl of Ancram (c. 1578-1654), a Scottish nobleman and writer; Robert Ker, 1st Earl of...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Carr family to Ireland

Some of the Carr family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 155 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Carr migration to the United States +

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 [3]
  • Caleb Carr (1624-1695), aged 11, who 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 [3]
  • Rich Carr, aged 29, who landed in America in 1635 [3]
  • Antho Carr, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [3]
  • Fran Carr, who landed in Virginia in 1651 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carr Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catherine Carr, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [3]
  • Thomas Carr, who landed in Virginia in 1713 [3]
  • John Carr, who settled in Virginia in 1716
  • Conrad Carr, who arrived in North Carolina in 1764 [3]
  • Michael Carr, who arrived in America in 1764 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carr Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Dennis Carr, aged 22, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [3]
  • Jos Carr, who landed in America in 1805 [3]
  • John Carr, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806 [3]
  • Charles Carr, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [3]
  • Alexander Carr, who landed in America in 1811 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carr Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Christian Carr, who landed in Arkansas in 1904 [3]

Canada Carr migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Carr Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Carr at St. John's, Newfoundland in the late 1700's [4]
  • Henry Carr, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Nicholas Carr, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Eliza Carr, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mrs. Carr, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carr Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Carr, who landed in Prince Edward Island in 1817
  • Bridget Carr, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • David Carr, who landed in Canada in 1830
  • Eliza Carr, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • William Carr, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carr Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Miss M Carr, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Carr migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Carr Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. William Carr, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
Carr Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Peter Carr, Irish convict who was convicted in Dundalk, Ireland for life, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Matthew Carr, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Miss Mary Carr, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Buffalo" on 4th May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Oliver Carr, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Henry Carr, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Carr migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Carr Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Carr, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • Dr. Carr, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Berhampore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th June 1849 [11]
  • Mrs. Carr, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Berhampore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th June 1849 [11]
  • Mr. Carr, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship "Tornado" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [12]
  • Mrs. Carr, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship "Tornado" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Carr (post 1700) +

  • Colonel Gerald Paul Carr (1932-2020), American mechanical and aeronautical engineer, United States Marine Corps officer, naval aviator, and NASA astronaut, Commander of Skylab 4
  • Jesse Willard "Pete" Carr (1950-2020), American guitarist, known for his work with Bob Seger, Joe Cocker, Boz Scaggs, Paul Simon, The Staple Singers, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, and many more
  • Fred Alton Carr (1946-2018), American NFL football linebacker for the Green Bay Packers (1968-1977), inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame
  • Charmian Carr (1942-2016), born Charmian Anne Farnon, an American actress and singer best known for her role as Liesl, in the 1965 film version of The Sound of Music
  • 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) [13]
  • 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 [14]
  • Gerald Carr (b. 1932), American astronaut who established a world record for longest manned space flight (84 days), on Skylab 4 [15]
  • ... (Another 179 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mrs. Margaret Bell Carr (1915-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Whangarei, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [16]
Halifax Explosion
  • Master George  Carr (1910-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [17]
  • Mrs. Mary  Carr (1872-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [17]
  • Mr. Ernest Allen Phipps  Carr (1885-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [17]
Hillcrest Coal Mine
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Hood
  • Mr. John Carr (b. 1917), English Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Trimdon Grange, County Durham, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [20]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Jack Carr, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [21]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Frank Cuthbert Carr (d. 1939), British Steward with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [22]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Richard Stephen Carr (d. 1912), aged 37, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [23]
  • Miss Jane Carr (d. 1912), aged 47, Irish Third Class passenger from Aclare, Sligo who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [23]


The Carr Motto +

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.


Suggested Readings for the name Carr +

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

  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/buffalo
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CANTON 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Canton.htm
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) Lawrence Carr. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Carr/Lawrence_Joseph/USA.html
  14. ^ Vikki Carr. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Vikki Carr. Retrieved from http://www.vikkicarr.com
  15. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Gerald Carr. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/carr-gp.html
  16. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  17. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  18. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners
  19. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  20. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  21. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  22. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  23. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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