Kilcarr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
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 Kilcarr 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 Kilcarr family
The surname Kilcarr 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.  The Kerrs of Cessford were descended from Ralph, and the Kerrs of Ferniehurst were descended from John.
Important Dates for the Kilcarr family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kilcarr 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 Kilcarr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kilcarr 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 Kilcarr has also been spelled Kerr, Car, Carr, Ker, Cearr (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the Kilcarr 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 Kilcarr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kilcarr family to Ireland
Some of the Kilcarr 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.
Kilcarr migration to the United States
Some of the first North American settlers with Kilcarr name or one of its variants:
Kilcarr Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Thomas Kilcarr, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Toloa" from Port Limon, Costa Rica 
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6ZH-CTL : 6 December 2014), Thomas Kilcarr, 26 Sep 1920; citing departure port Port Limon, Costa Rica, arrival port New York, ship name Toloa, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).