Kilkerr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
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 language. Patronymic surnames of this type were usually derived from the personal name of the original bearer's father. The surname Kilkerr 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 Kilkerr family
The surname Kilkerr 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 Kilkerr family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kilkerr 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 Kilkerr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kilkerr 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 Kilkerr has also been spelled Kerr, Car, Carr, Ker, Cearr (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the Kilkerr 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 Kilkerr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kilkerr family to Ireland
Some of the Kilkerr 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.
Migration of the Kilkerr family
Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Kilkerr, or a variant listed above: William Ker, who settled in New Hampshire in 1718.
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.