Highland family name 'Orr' means someone inhabiting the border, the 'edge' or the shoreline. The topographic origin is from the olde English pre 7th century "ORA" meaning an 'edge', shore or slope. I have lived my life with a foot in each world, the sacred and mundane. The Scottish surname traces back to the Gaelic odhar, meaning "pale", "the pale person", "dun," fair or red haired. The Orr name dates back further than the reign of James VI of Scotland (James I of England). In 1603 when the MacGregors were proscribed, some changed their names to avoid hanging, seeking sanctuary with other clans. Orr was one of the names these "children of the mist" acquired as freedom-fighters.
Padraig Mac Giolla Domhnaigh suggested that the Orr surname originates from an Anglicisation of Gaelic Mac Iomhaire. This was an old name from Renfrewshire, and a sept of the Campbells (Black Watch tartan); he stated that the name was earlier spelt Mac Ure. Historian Edward MacLysaght suggests that the name in Scotland derives from the parish of Orr or Urr in Kirkcudbrightshire, where the River Orr or Urr flowed. John Baliol (mother, Dervorgilla), an estwhile King of Scotland (1292) built his castle there. Land surrounding this river was granted to the Knights Templar by King David I (ruled 1124-1153). Hew Orr or Urr (Hughe de Urre) swore alliegence to King Edward I in 1296. Old variants include Urr, Ure, Oorr, Oare, Owr, Owar, Ower, Oar, Or, Oarr, Oayre, Oure, Our. The Ulster version of the crest of James Orr of the Villa Antoinette, Cannes, France and Belfast has a trefoil. He was the second son of James Orr of Ballygowan and Holywood House, a Belfast banker. His mother was Jane Stewart of the Stewarts of Ballintoy. His grandfather was Alexander Orr. Being a sept or division of the Campbell Clan entitles you to wear the Campbell tartan, also the Jacobite, Caledonia and Black Watch.
Approximately 60% of all the Campbells tested are likely to be members of Oppenheimer’s R1b-9 sub-clan. This sub-clan is the oldest branch of R1b in the British Isles and the progenitor of other R1b lines including the Celts. This finding is consistent with the finding that most Campbells are members of the indigenous Scottish genotype concluded from my May 2007 analysis. Summer 2008 – The Campbell project has approximately 280 members.
ORR Surname: http://books.google.com/books?id=-Emi0MmvPaEC&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=Orr+surname+meaning&source=bl&ots=xylcgyyQhi&sig=leY39A3MbcvnPEswcdAQEvwbPOg&hl=en&ei=Z8HZTJHgDoy6sAPQoZS4Bw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBzge#v=onepage&q=Orr%20surname%20meaning&f=false