Show ContentsOre History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Ore come from the ancient Scottish tribe known as the Dalriadans. They lived along the rugged west coast of Scotland and on the Hebrides islands and used the name to indicate a person who lived on a bank, or on the edge of a hill. The Ore 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. Ore also came form the Old Norse name Orri, which meant "black rooster." [1] It also emerged from the Gaelic word, odhar, which meant "pale" and would have been a nickname that became a surname. [2]

Early Origins of the Ore family

The surname Ore 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.

"It is a numerous name in the West end of the shire of Renfrew in the parish of Lochwinnoch. Hew Orr rendered homage in 1296 [to King Edward I of England]. Four persons named Or were summoned to answer charges made against them by the abbot of Paisley, 1503. John Or was witness in Glasgow, 1550, Matthew Ore in Paisley, 1654, and James Orre in Barneth, 1678." [3]

There are also scattered entries for the family in England. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Egidiu de Or in Kent and later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Matilda Orre; and Johannes Ore. [4]

Roger Orre was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1202 and William Orre was listed at Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1277. Robert Orre was found in Kent in the Subsidy Rolls for 1334-1335. Agnes de Ore was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Wiltshire, 1210-1211 and Peter de Ore was found in Warwickshire, 1264-1265. William de Ore was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Kent in 1334-1335. [5]

And to the far south of England in Devon, "the original Cathedral of Crediton was dedicated to the Virgin, and stood on or near the site of the present Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross. Herein it is recorded that on the 1st of August, 1315, one Thomas Orey, of Keynesham, who had been totally blind, recovered his sight after spending two days in prayer before the altar of St. Nicholas. Bishop Stapledon, being satisfied of the truth of the miracle, ordered the bells to be rung and a solemn thanksgiving offered, and set forth the event in his 'Register.' " [6]

Early History of the Ore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ore research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1503, 1550, 1654, 1678, 1640, 1512, 1578, 1613, 1798, 1717, 1798, 1717, 1798, 1717, 1740, 1748, 1798, 1770, 1816, 1770, 1797, 1798 and are included under the topic Early Ore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ore Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of Ore have been recorded over the years, including These are the result of the medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English. Orr, Ore, Orre, Orey and others.

Early Notables of the Ore family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Hugh Orr (1717-1798), Scottish born inventor, son of Robert Orr of Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, born at Lochwinnoch on 13 Jan. 1717. "Brought up to the trade of a gunsmith and door-lock filer, at the age of twenty he emigrated to America, and in June 1740 he settled at Bridgewater, in Massachusetts, where he manufactured scythes and edge-tools. He set up the first trip-hammer ever constructed in Massachusetts, and he succeeded in spreading the manufacture of edge-tools through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. In 1748 he made five hundred muskets for the province of Massachusetts...
Another 109 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ore Ranking

In the United States, the name Ore is the 13,197th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Ore family to Ireland

Some of the Ore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 210 words (15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ore migration to the United States +

Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Ore were among those contributors:

Ore Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Ore, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [8]
  • Joane Ore, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [8]
Ore Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johannes Ore, aged 19, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • Jurigh Ore, aged 51, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [8]
  • Nicholas Ore, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1736 [8]
  • Francis Ore, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1736 [8]
  • Thomas Ore, who landed in America in 1794 [8]

Australia Ore migration to Australia +

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

Ore Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Ore, (Orr), (b. 1800), aged 30, English farm labourer who was convicted in Shropshire, England for life for malicious wounding, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 20th August 1830, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]

The Ore 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.

  1. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th February 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook