The rugged west coast of Scotland
and the desolate Hebrides
islands are the ancestral home of the Or family. Their name indicates that the original bearer lived on a bank, or on the edge of a hill. The Or surname arose independently from different sources. In some instances, it came from the Old English word ora,
which means "edge" and was probably a name for someone who lived on a bank, or on the edge of a hill. Or also came form the Old Norse name Orri,
which meant "black rooster." It also emerged from the Gaelic word, odhar,
which meant "pale" and would have been a nickname
that became a surname.
Early Origins of the Or family
The surname Or was first found in Renfrewshire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland
, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew
, East Renfrewshire
, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Scotland
to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Or family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Or research.Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1296 and 1503 are included under the topic Early Or History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Or Spelling Variations
Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations
are extremely common among early Scottish names. Or has been spelled Orr, Ore, Orre and others.
Early Notables of the Or family (pre 1700)
Migration of the Or family to Ireland
Some of the Or family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 139 words (10 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 Or family to the New World and Oceana
The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence
, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Or arrived in North America very early: Alexander Orr who arrived in New York state in 1803; Arthur, Charles, George, Hannah, James, John, Martha, Mary, Patrick, Robert, Samuel, Thomas and William all arrived in Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860..
The Or 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: Bonis omnia bona
Motto Translation: All things are good to the good.