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About the Orr surname

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

http://orrnamestudy.com/lochwinnoch.htm

https://books.google.com/books?id=o3qcmGbLHGQC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

Orr Family History Scotland http://www.gengenie.co.uk/Orr%20Family%20History%20Narrative.html Surnames who married Orr in Ulster http://www.orrnamestudy.com/surnames2.htm Ulster Scots http://www.orrnamestudy.com/historyindex.htm

The earliest known Orr recorded in Ulster is James Orr, b ca 1580 in Beith Scotland who with his wife Janet McClement settled in Ballyblack, Co. Down in 1607. We know of James and Janet and their descendents through the work of Gawin Orr of Castlereagh, who researched and documented some 2,900 relatives in his epic Ulster Pedigree. This has been added to and published by Ray A Jones in 1977 under the title of " Ulster Pedigrees Descendants, in Many Lines, of James ORR and Janet McCLEMENT who Emigrated from Scotland to Northern Ireland ca 1607 " This book is in the Latter Day Saints Library in Salt Lake City, Call no 929.2415 Or7j; and on fiche #6036613. It may occasionally turn up on the second hand book market (eg www.abebooks.com) but is increasingly rare and expensive.

The Montgomery Manuscripts is a record of the plantation of Scottish settlers on the estates of Sir Hugh Montgomery in the Ards ca 1607. It includes a very valuable note of the many families with whom the Orrs are connected by marriage which are listed here. I will do searches of my copy, but please be as specific as you can. All 2900 named persons are by definition, related. But the work is 154 pages, short on dates, and still in copyright. I cannot therefore blanket copy everything.

A growing number of Orrs have had DNA tests done and a pattern is emerging of two main locations - Londonderry/Donegal; and Newtownards/ Co. Down. The indications are that they reflect the migration of the family from Ballyblack. James Orr (1580) had two son James and Patrick. Gawin Orr remarks that Patrick and his descendants migrated to Armagh and Donegal and regrettably gives no details of that branch. James, the elder son, remained in the Ards and is thought to be the ancestor of a large number of Orrs in that area. The implication is that James Orr (1580) is the common ancestor for many Orrs in Ulster. This sits comfortably with a span of 14-16 generations.

" the Orrs,  the Montgomeries, the Brydines , the Kirkwoods, the Glens, the Sempiles have charters from five hundred years."   [ from the Abbott of Paisley].

This indicates that the Orrs had been leasing land since then and is consistent with the record that a Hew Orr or Urr swore allegiance to King Edward I (the Ragman Rolls ) in 1296. This is also consistent with the use of a surname from the 13th century onwards which could be derived from Hew or Hugo of Urr becoming Hew Urr / Orr.

The family of Orr is very ancient in Scotland, the name dating in Renfrewshire Records from 1100, where it was most respected. Rev. Alexander Orr, of Burrowfield, married Lady Barbara Crawford, of Anchinames. He was an ardent Covenanter, and suffered martyrdom for his faith. His son. Rev. Alexander Orr, of "Hazelside," married Lady Agnes, daughter and co-heiress of Hon. John Dalrymple, Laird of "Waterside" and writer to the signet. The Dalrymples of Waterside were of the family and bear the arms of Stair ; the Earle of Stair, the present head of which house, very kindly gave the writer the information necessary for this sketch. John Orr, the younger son of Rev. Alexander Orr and Lady Waterside, came to Virginia in about 1750, and married Susannah Monroe Grayson, an aunt of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States. John Orr was a signer of the Revolutionary Resolutions drawn by Richard Henry Lee in protest against the Stamp Act in 1766.

Orr A1. Rev. Alexander Orr, minister of Beith, co. Ayr, and of St. Quivox, d. 1710, aged about 60, m. Barbara Crawfurd, daughter of William Crawfurd of Auchinames, co. Renfrew, and his wife Anna Lamont. Argent, two spears in saltire, betw. four spots of ermine.

   B1. Rev. Alexander Orr, of Hazelside, Minister of Muirkerk, 1717, and of Hoddan, co. Dumfries, b. 1686, d. 1767, bur. at Hoddam, m. 1722 to Agnes Dalrymple (d. 1760 aged 63), daughter and co-heir of John Dalrymple, of Waterside, co. Dumfries and his wife, Agnes Herries. Or, on a saltire az. nine lozenges of the field, within a bordure engrailed gules.
       C1. Alexander Orr of Waterside, Writer to the Signet, b. 1725, d. 1774, m. 1761 to Elizabeth Cant (d. 1811), daughter of Ludovick Cant of Thurstan.
           D1. Alexander Orr, of Waterside, Colonel, b. 1764, died at sea with all his family.
           D2. John Orr, Surgeon in the East India Company, d. 1813, m. Mary Ann Williams (d. 1883, aged 93).
               E1. John Balfour Orr, b. Apr 1810, d. unmarried.
               E2. Elizabeth Balfour Orr, b. 1809, d. 1882, m. 1839 to Alexander Aitken, Commander in the Royal Navy.
               E3. Louisa Balfour Orr, b. 1811, d. 1847, m. Charles Heath Wilson.
               E4. Frances Orr, b. 1813, d. 1836, unmarried.
           D3. Elizabeth Orr, b. 1762, m. John Balfour.
           D4. Agnes Orr, b. 1769, d. unmarried 1846.
           D5. Louisa Orr, b. 1769, d. unmarried.
       C2. John Orr, Merchant in Virginia, b. 1726.
           D1. Alexander Dalrymple Orr.
           D2. Benjamin Orr.
           D3. John Dalrymple Orr.
           D4. Ann Orr, m. Hugh Stewart, with issue.
           D5. Elizabeth Orr.
           D6. Susanna Orr.
       C3. Patrick Orr, b. 1727.
       C4. William Orr, a witness in 1750.
       C5. Agnes Orr, b. 1722, d. 1809, m. Rev. William Young, Minister of Hutton, co. Dumfries (d. 1761, aged 50). Argent, 3 piles sable, on a chief of the last as many annulets or. They had issue.
           D1. Alexander Young of Harburn.
               E1. William Young-Herries, succeeded to Michael Herries, of Spottes.
       C6. Barbara Orr, b. 1723, d. 1804, m. 1767 to Rev. John Craig, Minister of Ruthwell (d. 1798 aged 61).
       C7. Susan Orr, m. 1768, m. William Murray, son of William Murray of Murraythwaite. Azure, a crescent between three stars surrounded with a royal tressure argent, all within a bordure or. They had issue.
   B2. Archibald Orr, b. 24 Jul 1691.
   B3. Anna Orr, mentioned 1688.

Sources: McCall, H. B. (1890) Some Old Families: A Contribution to the Genealogical History of Scotland, vol. 2. Birmingham: Watson & Ball.

Surname: Orr Branch: MacGregor Origins: Scottish More Info: Scotland DNA - http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/orr/results

Background: Claiming a regal origin, their motto anciently was, "My race is royal". Griogar, said to have been the third son of Alpin, king of Scotland, who commenced his reign in 833, is mentioned as their remote ancestor, but it is impossible to trace their descent from any such personage, or from his eldest brother, Kenneth Macalpine, from whom they also claim to be sprung.

According to Buchanan of Auchmar, the clan Gregor were located in Glenorchy as early as the reign of Malcolm Canmore (1057-1093). As, however, they were in the reign of Alexander II, (1214-1249) vassals of the Earl of Ross, Skene thinks it probable that Glenorchy was given to them, when that monarch conferred a large extent of territory on that potent noble. Hugh of Glenorchy appears to have been the first of their chiefs who was so styled. Malcolm, the chief of the clan in the days of Bruce, fought bravely on the national side at the battle of Bannockburn. He accompanied Edward Bruce to Ireland, and being severely wounded at Dundalk, he was ever afterwards know as "the lame lord".

In the reign of David II, the Campbells managed to procure a legal title to the lands of Glenorchy; nevertheless, the Macgregors maintained, for a long time, the actual possession of them by the strong hand. They knew no other right than that of the sword, but ultimately that was found unavailing, and at last, expelled from their own territory they became an outlawed, lawless and landless clan.

John Macgregor of Glenorchy, who died in 1390, is said to have had three sons; Patrick, his successor’ John Dow, ancestor of the family of Glenstrae, who became the chief of the clan; and Greogor, ancestor of the Macgregors of Roro. Patrick’s son, Malcolm, was compelled by the Campbells to sell the lands of Auchinrevach in Strathfillan to Campbell of Glenorchy, who thus obtained the first footing in Breadalbane, which afterwards gave the title of earl to his family.

Motto: 'S rioghal mo dhream, My race is royal. Battle Cry: Ard Choille!, The woody height!. Arms: Argent, a sword in bend dexter Azure and an oak tree eradicated in bend sinister Proper, the former supporting on its point in dexter chief canton an antique crown Gules. Crest: A lion's head erased Proper, crowned with an antique crown Or. Supporters: Dexter, a unicorn Argent crowned and horned Or; sinister, a deer Proper tyned Azure. Plant: Scots Pine.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

The Clan Gregor held lands in Glenstrae, Glenlochy and Glenorchy. Sir Iain Moncreiffe believed that they were descended from the ancient Celtic royal family through the hereditary Abbots of Glendochart, a descent which may be proclaimed in the motto, ‘Royal is my race’. There is no evidence to support the tradition that Gregor was the son of Kenneth Macalpin. He may have been Griogair, son of Dungal, who is said to have been a co-ruler of Alba, the kingdom north of Central Scotland, between AD 879 and 889. Most modern historians agree that the first certain chief was Gregor ‘of the golden bridles’. Gregor’s son, Iain Cam, One-eye, succeeded as the second chief sometime prior to 1390.

Robert the Bruce granted the barony of Loch Awe, which included much of the Macgregor lands, to the chief of the Camp-bells. In common with many royal gifts of the time, it was left to the recipient to work out how he would take possession of it. The Campbells had already built the stout Castle of Kilchurn, which controlled the gateway to the western Highlands. They harried the Macgregors, who were forced to retire deeper into their lands until they were largely restricted to Glenstrae. Iain of Glenstrae, the second of his house to be called ‘the Black’, died in 1519 with no direct heirs. The Campbells supported the succession of Eian, who was married to the daughter of Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy. Eian’s son, Alistair, fought the English at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 but died shortly thereafter. In 1660 Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, who had bought the superiority from his kinsman, Argyll, refused to recognise the claim of Gregor Roy Macgregor to the estates. For ten years Gregor waged war against the Campbells. He had little choice but to become an outlaw, raiding cattle and sheltering in the high glens. In 1570 the Campbells captured and killed him. His son, Alistair, claimed the chiefship, but was unable to stem the tide of persecution which was to be the fate of the ‘Children of the Mist’.

John Drummond, the king’s forester, was murdered after hanging some Macgregors for poaching. The chief took responsibility for the act, and was condemned by the Privy Council. In April 1603 James VI issued an edict proclaiming the name of Macgregor ‘altogidder abolisheed’, meaning that those who bore the name must renounce it or suffer death. Macgregor, along with eleven of his chieftains, was hanged at Edinburgh’s Mercat Cross in January 1604. Clan Gregor was scattered, many taking other names, such as Murray or Grant. They were hunted like animals, flushed out of the heather by bloodhounds. Despite their savage treatment, the Macgregors actually fought for the king during the civil war. When the Earl of Glencairn attempted a rising against the Commonwealth in 1651, he was joined by two hundred of the clan. In recognition of this, Charles II repealed the pro- scription of the name, but this was promptly reimposed when William of Orange deposed Charles’s brother, James VII.

It was at this time that the legendary Rob Roy Macgregor came to prominence. Born in 1671, a younger son of Macgregor of Glengyle, he was forced to assume his mother’s name of Campbell. His adventures have been immortalised and romanticised by Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Rob Roy, but there is little doubt that he was a thorn in the government’s flesh until his death in 1734. When the Stuart flag was raised in 1715, he attached himself to the Jacobite cause, although acted largely independently. After the indecisive Battle of Sheriffmuir, he set out plundering at will. In one raid he put Dumbarton into panic, causing the castle to open fire with its cannon. He is buried in the churchyard at Balquhidder.

The persecution of Clan Gregor ended in 1774, when the laws against them were repealed. In order to restore their clan pride, it was necessary to re-establish the chiefs. A petition subscribed by eight hundred and twenty- six Macgregors declared General John Murray of Lanrick to be the proper and true chief. He was, in fact, a Macgregor, being a descendant of Duncan Macgregor of Ardchoille who died in 1552. The general had served extensively in India before being created a baronet in July 1795. His son, Sir Evan, was also a general and later Governor of Dominica. He married a daughter of the fourth Duke of Atholl, for whom he built the House of Edinchip, until recently the home of the present chief. Sir Evan played a prominent part in the 1822 visit of George IV to Scotland, where he and his clansmen guarded the honors of Scotland. He proposed the toast to the ‘chief of chiefs’ at the royal banquet in Edinburgh. The father of the present chief, Sir Malcolm Macgregor, served in the navy during the First World War, being decorated not only by his own country, but also by France.

Name Variations: Arrowsmith, Black, Bower, Bowers, Bowmaker, Brewer, Caird, Comrie, Dennison, Denson, Dochart, Docharty, Docherty, Dowie, Fletcher, Gair, Geuer, Gregor, Gregorson, Gregory, Greig, Grewar, Greyson, Grier, Grierson, Griesck, Grigor, Gruer, King, Kirkpatrick, Laikie, Leckie, Lecky, MacAdam, MacAinsh, MacAlaster, MacAldowie, MacAlester, MacAngus, MacAnish, Macara, Macaree, MacCainsh, MacCance, MacCansh, MacChoiter, MacConachie, MacCondach, MAcCondochie, MacCrouther, MacGregor, MacGrewar, MacGrigor, MacGrouther, MacGrowther, MacGruder, MacGruer, MacGruther, MacIldowie, MacIlduff, MacIlduy, MacInnes, MacInstalker, MacLeister, MacLiver, MacNay, MacNea, MacNee, MacNeice, MacNeish, MacNess, MacNey, MacNie, MacNiesh, MacNish, MacNocaird, MacNucator, MacPeter, MacPetrie, Malloch, McGregor, Neish, Neish, Nice, Nish, Nucator, Orr, Pattullo, Peat, Peter, Peterkin, Peters, Peterson, Petrie, Rob Roy, Skinner, Stalker, Stringer, Walker, White, Whyte .

http://www.geni.com/surnames/orr

About the Orr surname 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

http://www.thereformation.info/historyindex.htm

William Orr (1766-1797) was a member of the United Irishmen who was executed in 1797 in what was widely believed to be a judicial murder and whose memory led to the rallying cry “Remember Orr” during the 1798 rebellion.

Orr was born to a Presbyterian farming family outside Antrim town and little is known of his early life. He was active in the Irish Volunteers and joined the United Irishmen sometime in the mid-1790’s, contributing several articles to their newspaper, the Northern Star. He was compelled to go on the run to avoid imprisonment during the brutal “dragooning” of Ulster in 1797, a concerted attempt by the authorities to smash the United Irish movement. However, he was captured on 15 September 1797 when he slipped home to pay a visit to his dying father.

He was charged with administering the United Irish oath to two soldiers, an offence which had recently been deemed a capital charge under the Insurrection Act of 1796. It was widely believed that the evidence of the soldiers was fabricated and that the authorities wished to make an example of Orr to act as a deterrent to potential United Irish recruits. Despite packing the jury, the court had difficulties in convicting Orr as he was widely believed to be a scapegoat and innocent of the trumped up charges. Even the presiding judge, Yelverton, was said to have shed tears at the passing of the death sentence, although Orr’s friend, the poet and United Irishman William Drennan expressed his disgust at this display with the words “I hate those Yelvertonian tears”.

Orr was hanged on October 14 1797 in Carrickfergus and is regarded as the first United Irish martyr. Source: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Orr"

The Scots-Irish surname ORR is ultimately Scottish in origin and has been in Ireland since the seventeenth century. It may be derived from some last place name or from the gaelic word "odhar", meaning "dun coloured", in which case it would have been scribed as a nickname to one of sallow complexion. Orr is a common scottish surname and the name of an old Renfrewshire family; it is numerous in the west end of the shire, in the parish of Lochwinnoch, and also in Campbeltown, Kintyre, where it was documented as early as 1640. it is probable that the Kintyre Orrs came originally from Refrewshire. Early recorded scottish instances of the name include a reference to Hew Orr who rendered homage in 1296 and four persons named Or who were summoned to answer charges made against them by the abbot of Paisley in 1503 (Registrum monasterii de Passelet... Passelet, 1877. p. 61). One of the earliest references to the surname in Ireland relates to a shopkeeper caled Thomas Orr who lived in Church Street, Dublin in 1655. A family of the name settled in Co. Tyrone, possibly even earlier than 1655, and many families of Orr are recorded in Co. Derry and adjacent areas in the 1660's. Indeed, Orr figures aming the more numerous scottish surnames in Ulster today. Notable bearers of the name include William Orr (1766-1797) and James Orr (1770-1816), both United Irishmen, and Andrew Orr (1822-1895), from Coleraine, a poet, whose "in exile" was written after he had emigrated to Australia. Orrs from the north of Ireland have also been prominent in the United states; in fact, they gave their name to Orrsville in Anderson County, South Carolina.

BLAZON OR ARMS: Gules, three piles in point argent, the center pile charged with a trefoil slipped vert, on chief or, a torteau between two crosses crosslet fitchee of the field.

CREST: A Cornucopia proper, charged with a trefoil slipped as in the arms.

MOTTO: Bonis omnia bona.

TRANSLATION: All is good to the good.

IVERSON, MACEVER, MACGURE, MACIVER, MACIVOR, MACURE, ORR, URE

The above are all variations of Mac Iomhair meaning ‘Son of Iver.’ Iver or Ivarr was a popular Norse name and, as such, found over most of Scotland, particularly in the Western Isles.

There seems little or no likelihood of a common origin and of a single ‘Clan MacIver’ but the waters were considerably muddied by the efforts of Principal P.C.Campbell who wrote an anonymous book ‘Account of the Clan Iver’ seeking (unsucessfully) to strengthen his petition to the Lord Lyon for the chiefship of such a Clan. There is a good deal of interesting information in the book but it has to be extracted with some care. According to ‘Ane Accompt’ Iver was one of two illegitimate sons of Colin Maol Math - the other one being Tavish Coir from whom descended the MacTavishes. Iver’s mother was said by the same source to have been the daughter of Sween of Castle Sween who as ‘Swineruo’ or ‘Suibhne Ruadh’, was the leading chief of the kindred of Anrothan, possessors of the districts of Cowal, Glassary and Knapdale.

This myth is further given credence by the existence of Dun Mor, at Kilmory, near Lochgilphead, a most impressive small fort which, according to legend, was a stronghold of the MacIvers. (40) (Campbell, PSAS xcv, 52.) The MacIvers’ early possessions were said to have been in Glassary. First on written record is Malcolm M’Ivyr who features in the list of magnates in Balliol’s new Sheriffdom of Argyll/Lorne in 1292. ‘The Lordship of MacIver’, however, was further north; the area of country immediately south of the mouth of Loch Melfort near the site of the present-day Loch Melfort Hotel and Arduaine Gardens. The rocky spur by the road just to the south of the hotel is Dun an Garbh-sroine, site of a fortification thought to have been the MacIver base here from the 14th to the 17th century.

The leading family of the MacIver Campbells was MacIver of Lergachonzie and Stronshira. Lergachonzie is just south of Dun an Garbh-sroine and Stronshira is at the mouth of Glen Shira near Inveraray where a branch of the MacIvers were Captains of the Castle of Inveraray. The standing stone in the grounds of Inveraray Castle in the Winterland, the field on which the annual Inveraray Games are held, is said to have marked the boundary between the MacIver lands and those of the MacVicars. Other subsidiary branches include the MacIver Campbells of Ballochyle in Cowal, the Campbells of Kirnan in Glassary, the MacIvers later Campbells of Pennymore on Loch Fyne, south of Inveraray, and the Campbells of Ardlarach near Ardfern, Craignish. The inheritors of the main line were the MacIver Campbells of Asknish, the old name for the area in the old Lordship of MacIver now known as Arduaine. When the family moved to Loch Fyneside, they took the name of Asknish with them and gave it to their new house.

Less certain is the branch to which Principal Campbell belonged - the Campbells of Quoycrook in Caithness, allegedly descended from Lergachonzie in the persons of a Kenneth Buey MacIver and his brother Farquhar, claimed to have gone North to protect the interests there of the Countess of Argyll c 1575. From them, according to Principal Campbell come the families of Campbell of Duchernan, of Thurso and Lochend and the Iverachs of Wideford away up in Orkney. Both the Iverachs and the Campbells of Duchernan display the Campbell gyronny in their arms. Much is made of the use by the MacIvers in their heraldry of the coat quarterly , or and gules, a bend sable which is claimed by Nisbet to be the ancient arms of MacIver in contrast to the Campbell gyronny. In fact the coat is a popular one displayed by, among many others, the family of Eure as far back as 1300 and it would seem all too likely that this is a case of a fancied resemblance between that name and that of MacIver in its form ‘Ure’ resulting in its assignation to or adoption by the MacIvers in Argyll.

In June 1564, at Dunoon, Archibald 5th Earl of Argyll resigned to Iver MacIver of Lergachonzie, in return for certain sums of money, all calps paid to him by those of the name MacIver, reserving to himself the calp of Iver himself and his successors. (41) (A/T.) The significance of this act has been given various interpretations. It would also seem to be the case that after this date those of the name MacIver started to use the name Campbell in addition or instead of their former one. It has been claimed that this was recognition of the MacIvers as a separate Clan and that the change of surname was part of the deal and in effect forced upon them. For this last there seems to be no actual proof whatever; what seems to be more likely is that the move was for administrative convenience; the various MacIvers in Argyll were now firmly placed under a chieftain who would be answerable for their actions to his Chief, Argyll, in whose hands his own calp very specifically remained. The move would seem a popular one and those affected appear keen to have stressed the continuation of their status as part of Clan Campbell by increasing their use of the name.

Ive researched the origins of the Orrs deeply when I had the Orr One Name Study. and when writing my book They are Lowland Scottish, with their original roots I believe to be in the Parish of Urr , the Stewartry of Kirkcudbrightshire, in the 13 century; the likely forebear was a Hugh del Urre, a local baron who swore allegiance to Edward I in 1296 Since about 1300 or so they have been found in the Lochwinnoch area of Renfrewshire - Lochwinnoch is hard by the county border with Beith in Ayrshir where they were also in large numbers.

They are now spread throughout the world - over 132,000 of us, with some 90,000+ in the USA; 7000 in Canada, 7000 in Australia11000 in England, 10,000 in Scotland 5000 in Ulster, as well as NZ, S Africa, West Indies, - all the corners of the former British Empire.

The Orrs in Ireland can be traced to migrants who went with Sir Hugh Montgomery to his lands in North Down in 1606 when James Orr of Ballyblack (1580-1627) and two sons James and Patrick spread their genes - Sir Hugh and another Scottish landlord, Sir James Hamilton were the main settlers of Presbyterian persusasion in 1606-7. In 1610-1630 the rest of Northern Ireland (Ulster) was "settled" under the Plantation scheme whereby James I amongst other things did indeed want to be rid of troublesome Presbyterians in Scotland but mainly he wanted English and Scottish settlers of Protestant persusasion on whom he could rely if more insurgency broke out with the native irish. From ca 1620 the Presbyterians were subjected to discrimination (James wanted strict Church of England for all). By the 1660 -1690s (the Restoration of Charles II) they were increasingly penalised, imprisoned and eventually hunted down and killed for failing to attend the "official" Church - this was the period when the dissenters - Covenanters, suffered greatly The unrest in Scotland, especially in the West , resulted in a steady flow of migrants to Ulster. But for many is was just a stop over before they moved on to the colonies.

There is more about the Ulster Scots / Scotch Irish on my web site at www.thereformation.info< http://www.thereformation.info/>; - click on the tab Ulster Scots at the foot of the page.Happy hunting ! Brian THE ORR ROOTS

What the experts say. 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.

George Black in Surnames of Scotland relates that Hugh de Hur was a member of an assize court in 1289, he, or another Hugh de Hur was a juror on the enquiry about the privileges claimed by Robert de Brus, Earl of Carrick in 1304. Hugh del Urre was a signatory to the Ragmans Rolls ( swearing allegience to Edward I) in 1296. The barony of Urr existed from at least 1280 and follows the valley of River Urr from Loch Urr/Orr some twelve miles inland where there was once a castle. It is believed that the Orr name is derived from Hugh. Around 1300 the lands of Urr changed hands when Edward I (the Hammer of the Scots) ravaged the land which is consistent with the family reappearing in the Lochwinnoch area ca 1300 where they have been ever since. Andrew Crawford, author of The Cairn of Lochwinnoch ca 1836 records that the Orrs had had charters [from the Abbott of Paisley ] from five hundred years. The first Orrs in Ulster were James Orr and wife Margaret McClement who went from Beith, next door to Lochwinnoch, to the Ards ca 1607 with the Montgomery Settlement ( Their lineage is in the Ulster Pedigree ca 1830 by Gowan Orr). Their sons were James and Patrick. James stayed in the North Down area around Comber; Patricks line moved on into Armagh and to Londonderry. Regrettably Gowan Orr did not include Patricks details in his genealogy. The Orrs are a recognised sept of Clan Campbell. Recent DNA tests by male Orrs indicates that, like many west coast Scots, they stem from Somerled and the Vikings who roamed the region and the Solway Firth , further supporting the claimed origins in South West Scotland.

Edward MacLysaght states that the name derives from the parish of Orr ( Urr ) in Kirkcudbrightshire. It is also the name of an old Renfrewshire family and is most common in the west of Renfrewshire and in particular in the parish of Lochwinnoch.

Mac Giolla Domhnaigh claims that the name was also used as an anglicisation of Scots Gaelic Mac Iomhair, 'son of Ivar', a name also made Maclver, Maclvor, MacUre and Ure

Some others derive the name from the Gaelic odbar donn, odbar, meaning 'sallow (of complexion) and donn, meaning 'brown'. I am not too sure about sallow, all the Orrs I have ever met, or seen in photographs and paintings have generally been of a healthy, ruddy, complexion, or weather beaten and tanned.

In Ireland this name is common only in the Province of Ulster, where it is chiefly found in counties Antrim, Down, Londonderry and Tyrone. Although in Ulster for four hundred years, and probably longer because of the closeness of the West coast of Scotland, the roots of the family lie squarely in Scotland The Ures or Orrs are an acknowledged sept (a family giving allegiance to another more powerful family) of Clan Campbell.

Sorry folks - some myths rejected.

I have seen several claims that the Orr name is derived from McGregor which is inconsistent with the facts. It is not a diminutive form of McGregor, the Orr name had been been in existence in its own right for over 300 years before the McGregor name was banned in 1603. It is just possible that a MacGregor might have taken the Orr name when the clan was forced to give up his own - in the same way that Rob Roy MacGregor took Campbell as his new surname - but that is an entirely different thing. The chances of this having happened is probably small, not least because Orr is essentially a Lowland name. But on the other hand, if you are certain to be transported or lawfully killed on sight, it might not be such a bad idea to take a name of a southern Scottish family. Neither is the Orr name a derivative from the French dOr (meaning gold) from the Huguenots or from the name of Spanish sailors washed ashore from wrecked ships of the Spanish Armada.

Existence of the name since at least 1296

A reference book from Inveraray Castle, the home of the Duke of Argyll and Chief of Clan Campbell lists the names associated with the clan and includes Orr:

" ORR .Old Renfrewshire name, originally either from extinct placename or from Gaelic odhar, of sallow complexion. The numerous occurence of Orrs in Campbelltown, Kintyre since c. 1640 likely due to movement from Renfrewshire. John Or in Moy listed as Campbell of Cawdor family, 1578. Alexander Over, alias Robertson, in Connoch mentioned for receiving stolen goods belonging to Clan Gregor, 1613"

Andro Craefurd (Crawford) author of "The Cairn of Lochwinnoch " ca 1836 deeply researched the history of the Lochwinnoch area and in his notes observes that

" the Orrs, the Montgomeries, the Brydines , the Kirkwoods, the Glens, the Sempiles have charters from five hundred years." [ from the Abbott of Paisley].

This indicates that the Orrs had been leasing land since then and is consistent with the record that a Hew Orr or Urr swore allegiance to King Edward I (the Ragman Rolls ) in 1296. This is also consistent with the use of a surname from the 13th century onwards which could be derived from Hew or Hugo of Urr becoming Hew Urr / Orr.

There are many variations in spelling as a result of officials in the past writing the name as it sounded and it was not until the mid nineteenth century that a consistent form appeared. You might try to imagine a stereotype Scotsman with a broad accent pronouncing Orr as Urr, Ure, Oorr, Oare, Owr, Owar, Ower, Oar, Or, Oarr, Oayre, Oure, Our, - maybe he was just .. err ... clearing his throat or reluctant to admit he was a MacGregor !

The Irish connection

The Irish connection came about primarily through the acquisition of land in Co Antrim and Co Down by two Scottish landlords, Hugh Montgomery and Sir James Hamilton, both from Ayrshire. They purchased a  great deal of land between 1603 and 1607 and took with them tenants from Scotland to settle on  their new estates.

The earliest Orr recorded in Ireland is James Orr, b ca 1580 in Scotland who with his wife Janet McClement settled in Ballyblack, Co. Down in 1607. We know of James and Janet and their descendents through the work of Gawin Orr of Castlereagh, who researched and documented some 2,900 relatives in his epic Ulster Pedigree. This has been added to and published by Ray A Jones in 1977 under the title of " Ulster Pedigrees Descendants, in Many Lines, of James ORR and Janet McCLEMENT who Emigrated from Scotland to Northern Ireland ca 1607 " This book is in the Latter Day Saints Library in Salt Lake City, Call no 929.2415 Or7j; and on fiche #6036613.

A long title but it is the most comprehensive record of Orrs in Ulster there is. This has been loaded into my database and I am happy to search it for specific links. I regret that it is 154 pages long and still in copyright, I cannot therefore do blanket searches as that would mean copying the whole book.  A list of names of people who married Orrs, and are mentioned in the Ulster Pedigree is also available.

More Orrs came to Ireland to settle in especially Counties Londonderry, Tyrone, Fermanagh, and Monaghan as tenants of Scottish landlords, during the Plantation of Ireland between 1610 and 1630. first Orr in Ireland, who appeared in an Index of Wills in the Salt Lake City Library of the Latter Day Saints. This gives a Richard Orr having lodged a will (or his executors/family did) in 1563. His residence is given as Clontarf in the Diocese of Dublin, site of a famous victory by King Brian Boru over the Vikings in 1014. Richard is an unusual name in Scotland and at first guess he may well have a different origin. In Land Of Urr I remarked on the possibility of a Norse origin from their word Orri meaning blackcock ( a bird ) and that a link appeared in the Lincolnshire Assize Roll of 1298 with reference to a Roger Orre in 1202. That the name Orre should turn up so early on the East coast of England where Norman knights from William the Conqueror's time had lands, raises all sorts of possibilities. A new twist to the origin and the Norse men has appeared in recent DNA tests by Orrs that is throwing up a Viking/Norsemen/Scandinavian link. This includes the Norwegian Vikings who founded Normandy in France, and were the ancestors of William the Conqueror.

The Hearth Money Rolls and Poll Tax records for County Antrim (1660-9) give details of further Orrs .

How, why and when the Orrs migrated round the world is a separate and complex story.

Surnames of people who married an Orr and have an entry in "The Ulster Pedigree "

A Abernethy, Agnew, Alexander, Allen, Anderson, Andrew, Appleton, Armer, Armstrong, Arnold, Arthur, Auchinleak

B Bailey, Bailie, Ball, Barbour, Barnet, Barr, Barry, Basset,

  Bateman, Beard, Beaty, Beck, Bell, Bellamy, Bennet, Biggam, 
  Bingham,  Binsley, Black, Blackburn, Blair, Blakely, Blythe, Boden,
  Bole, Borrer, Bowman, Boyd, Boys, Bradly, Breeze, Brennan, Brice,
  Brown, Browne, Bryan, Bryson, Burgess, Burnett, Burns, Burt, Busby

C Cally, Cammack, Campbell, Carleton, Carlin, Carlisle, Carmichael,

  Carr, Carrenduff, Carse, Carson, Caruthers, Catherwood, Chain,
  Chalmers, Charters, Chatworthy, Christy, Clark, Clarke, Clegg,
  Cleland, Coats, Cochran, Cochrane, Conn, Conner, Connery, Cook,
  Cooper, Corbert, Corbet, Corry, Cosby, Cosgrove, Coulter, Cowan,
  Craig, Crawford, Creighton, Croft, Cross, Crossan, Crozier, Cultra,
  Cumberland, Cuming

D Dalzell, Davidson, Davison, Demster, Dickey, Dickson, Dobbin,

   Dodd, Doran, Dorman, Dougherty, Douglas, Downe, Drake, Duff,
  Dugan,Duglass, Dunbar, Dunlop, Dunn, Dunwoody, Dyer

E Eagleson, Eccles, Ellison, Erskine, Espy

F Falkender, Ferguson, Finlay, Finley, Fisher, Fleming, Folingsby,

  Forbes, Forcher, Ford, Foreman, Forester, Forsythe, Foster, Frame,
  Frazer, Freshfield, Frew

G Gabbey, Galway, Gamble, Garret, George, Gerrit, Gibson, Gill,

  Girvan, Gordon, Goudy, Gourley, Gowan, Graham, Grainger, Grant,
  Gray, Greer, Gregg, Gunning

H Hamilton, Hanna, Hannah, Hardy, Harper, Harris, Harrison, Harvey,

  Hays, Henderson, Henry, Herron, Hewit, Hill, Hitt, Hogg, Holyman,
  Hood, Houston, Howell, Hubbard, Huddleson, Hughs, Hunter, Hurd,
  Hurst, Hutchison, Hutton, Hyndman, Hynds

I Irvine

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Orr in the Plantation

The earliest Orr found in Ireland is that of Richard Orr of Clontarf who died ca 1563. Whether he was of Scots origin or otherwise can only be conjecture, however there are no doubts about James Orr and Margaret McClement, from Ayrshire, who settled in Co Down in 1607 as part of the Montgomery settlement.

It is highly probable that there were a number of Scottish Orrs in the early influx of new settlers under the Plantation although documentation is quite another thing. There is one Orr listed in the early denizens (a form of naturalisation so that they could legally hold title to the lands granted to them ) this being James Orr, of Raphoe in County Donegal who was granted denization 20 November 1617. It is probable that this Orr originated from either Ayrshire or Galloway. It was from these regions that the Scots settlers in the County Donegal baronies of Boylagh and Banagh, and Portlough, originated. There was a Thomas Orr in East Inishowen and a Donnell Orr in Raphoe in the 1630 Muster. By the time of the Hearth Tax Rolls in 1665 there were quite a few Orr families - William Orr in Conleigh; John and William Orr in Letterkenny; John Orr in Castlefin; Alexander Orr in Beltany and Joseph Orr in Drumay .

Robert Bell in his "Book of Ulster Surnames" says that there were settler families in Co Tyrone in 1655. The Hearth Money Rolls and Poll Tax Returns for Co Antrim 1660 - 1669 show a reasonably well off William Orr in Antrim Town with 2 hearth taxes ( ie he probably had a house with two fire places) in 1666 and 1669. In the Parish of Raloo in 1669 there was a Robert Orr (townland of Ballyrickard More) and a Widow Orr (townland of Ballywillin) .In the Parish of Ballymoney there was a Pat Ore ( townland of Ballymoney) in both 1666 and 1669 Hearth Money Rolls. In the Parish of Dunluce a John Orr (townland of Ballybogy) in 1669. In the Parish of Larne John Oure (townland of Larne Parish & Town) in 1669. In the Parish of Ballinderry John Orr ( townland of The New Park) in 1669.

Tracing James Orr and Janet McClement

The Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland, most of which have been filmed by Latter Day Saints ( the Mormons) and included in the International Genealogical Index ( IGI ), only takes us back to 1682 or so in Beith which is adjacent to Lochwinnoch Parish in Renfrewshire. The earliest dates for births, marriages and deaths in the Parish Registers for Beith are - 1661,1659 and 1783 respectively. The earliest records for Lochwinnoch are 1718. This means that we have to turn to the Kirk Session records and the Commissariot Registers, the original church court testaments, in the hope of an entry. Both of these localities were in the Glasgow Commissariot. That far back in time one might expect to find something in the minutae of the Montgomery family papers - such as a list of tenants, rents, and workers, who went to Ireland. But as we have seen, William Montgomery could find no list of tenants in the family papers when he was writing the Montgomery Manuscripts in 1698-1704; so the chance of finding anything three hundred years later is frankly nil.

But we can go forward from James Orr and Janet McClement thanks to the work of Gawain Orr of Castlereagh who spent a great deal of his life researching his family history and creating his " Ulster Pedigree ". This work provides information on about 2,800 individuals although the births, marriage and deaths information is rather lacking. A list of persons who married an Orr has been compiled from the Pedigree.

THE ORR FAMILY "The Orrs had their origin in Scotland as early as the fourteenth century, possibly the thirteenth and took their names as did Brackenrig, Blackwood, Forest and hundreds of other families from the lands on which they lived. They are largely to be found in Renfrewshire, where there are thirteen hundred bearing the name. They are chiefly of Presbyterian faith but some are Episcopalians and in the Cathedral at Glasgow there is a memorial window to William Orr. "The first recorded evidence of the Orrs in Ireland is of those who came from Scotland with Sir Hugh Montgomery in 1606, who crossed to Ireland for the purpose of settlement in North Down on lands ceded to him by one of the great O'Neill family. In Charles A. Hanna's History of the Scotch Irish, Vol. I, Page 496, is given the genealogy of James Orr, of Bullyblack, who died in 1627 and of Jane Clement, his wife, who died in 1636. From it I quote: The descendants, male and female, of this worthy couple were very numerous and as their intermarriages have been care- fully recorded, we have thus fortunately a sort of index to the names of many other families of Scotch settlers in the Ards and Castlereagh.'" (From paper read May 28, 1903 by John G. Orr of Chambersburg, Pa. before the Kittochtinny Historical Society.) Among the early pastors of the Irish Church in Clough, county of Antrim, Ireland is found Peter Orr, 1673 to 1705 and following him came Alexander Orr, 1709 to 1713. Other pastors of Antrim and Derry Counties were John, Robert, Thomas and James Orr. In certificates of character or what we now call "church letters of dismissal", issued by vicars of the Church of Ireland and by 14