One of the most common classes of Scottish surnames is the patronymic
surname, which arose out of the vernacular and religious naming traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local
surnames of this type were usually derived from the personal name
of the original bearer's father. The surname Cearr is derived from the Gaelic name O'Ciarain
which itself comes from the Gaelic word ciar,
which means black
or dark brown.
Early Origins of the Cearr family
The surname Cearr 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
The Kerrs of Cessford were descended from Ralph, and the Kerrs of Ferniehurst were descended from John.
Early History of the Cearr family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cearr research.Another 410 words (29 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 Cearr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cearr Spelling Variations
Scottish surnames are distinguished by a multitude of spelling variations
because, over the centuries, the names were frequently translated into and from Gaelic. 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 Cearr has also been spelled Kerr, Car, Carr, Ker, Cearr (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the Cearr 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... Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cearr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cearr family to Ireland
Some of the Cearr family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 190 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cearr family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Cearr, or a variant listed above: William Ker, who settled in New Hampshire
The Cearr 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.