- Orr (surname)
Orr Family name
Orr coat of arms
Meaning 1. black cock (male black grouse);
2. pale, dun (coloured);
3. shore, hill-slope, flat-topped ridge
Region of origin Ulster, northern England, western Scotland Language(s) of origin Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Old English, Old Norse Related names Ivar, McIver, McIvor, Ore, McUre and Ure Clan affiliations Campbell, MacGregor Footnotes: Frequency Comparisons
Orr is a surname common throughout the English-speaking world, but especially in Scotland, Ulster, the United States, Canada, and northern England. The name is considered to have numerous origins: such as being derived from an Old Norse byname; a Gaelic nickname; and an Old English topographical name, or similar place-name.
There are numerous origins for the surname. The northern English, Scottish and Northern Irish surname is derived from the Old Norse byname Orri, meaning "blackcock" (a male black grouse). Another origin for the Scottish name is from the Gaelic odhar, meaning "pale", "dun". Another origin for the English name is from a topographical name for a person who lived on a shore, or ridge. This name is derived from the Old English ora, meaning "shore", "hill-slope", "flat-topped ridge". The name could also be derived from a place-name, derived from this Old English word; for example, the surname Ore is derived from Oare, in Berkshire, Kent; and Wiltshire; or Ore, in East Sussex. Padraig Mac Giolla Domhnaigh, suggested that the Irish surname originates from an Anglicisation of Gaelic Mac Iomhaire. Mac Giolla Domhnaigh stated that this was an old name from Renfrewshire, and a sept of the Campbells; he stated that the name was earlier spelt Mac Ure.
In Ireland the name is common only in Ulster, and mainly found in County Antrim, County Down, County Londonderry and County Tyrone. The first recorded evidence of the name in Ulster is of those who came from Scotland with Sir Hugh Montgomery in 1606 to settle in North Down on lands ceded by the O'Neill family. They were chiefly Presbyterian, with some Episcopalians, and a few Roman Catholics and Quakers. According to Bell, the earliest record of the name in Ireland is that of a family in County Tyrone in 1655. However, according to Orr, the earliest record of the name in Ireland is of Richard Orr of Clontarf in 1563.
In Scotland, the name is first known to have been recorded in Renfrewshire. Historian Edward MacLysaght suggests that the name in Scotland derives from the parish of Orr in Kirkcudbrightshire. Indeed, the River Orr flowed through the area. A tradition of some of the Orrs in Northern Ireland has it that they were descended from outlawed brothers whose original family name was McLean; they crossed this river and then made their way by boat to Donaghadee in County Down in the early 17th century. Having escaped persecution, they took river's name as their surname and settled in Newtownards.
Noteworthy people named Orr
- Alexander D. Orr (1761–1835), American farmer and politician
- Alexander Ector Orr (1831–1914), pioneer of the New York City subway system
- Alice Greenough Orr (1902–1995), American rodeo star
- Andy Orr (1980-), member of the Irish band Six
- Sir Archibald Orr-Ewing, 1st Baronet (1847–1893), Scottish politician
- Ashley Rose Orr (born 1990), American actress
- Benjamin Orr (1947–2000), bass guitarist of The Cars
- Benjamin Orr (Massachusetts politician) (1772–1828), American politician
- Bobby Orr (born 1948), Hall of Fame Canadian ice hockey player
- Bradley Orr (born 1982), English footballer
- Buxton Orr (1924–1997), British composer
- Charles Lindsay Orr-Ewing (1860–1903), Scottish politician
- Charles Wilfred Orr (1893–1976), English composer
- Christopher Orr (disambiguation), several people
- Colton Orr (born 1982), Canadian ice hockey player
- Danny Orr (born 1979), English rugby league player
- Dave Orr (1859–1915), American baseball player
- Deborah Orr, British newspaper columnist
- David Orr (born 1944), American politician
- Douglas Orr (1892–1966), American architect
- Emma Restall Orr, British neo-druid
- Gary Orr (born 1967), Scottish golfer
- Gregory Orr (born 1954), American film writer/director, son of William T. Orr
- Gustavus Orr (1819–1887), early pioneer for public education in Georgia
- James Orr (disambiguation), several people
- Jimmy Orr (born 1935), American football player
- John Orr (disambiguation), several people
- Johnny Orr (born 1927), American basketball coach
- Jonathan Orr (born 1983), American football player
- Kay A. Orr (born 1939), American politician
- Kenneth D. Orr (pending dates), American Army General
- Leonard Orr (born c. 1938), American developer of "Rebirthing-Breathwork"
- Louis Orr (born 1958), American basketball coach
- Matthew Orr (born 1962), British entrepreneur
- Marion Alice Orr (1918–1995), Canadian aviator
- Pete Orr (born 1979), Canadian baseball player
- Philip Orr, Irish Rugby International prop-forward
- Robert Orr (disambiguation), several people
- Robin Orr (1909–2006), Scottish composer
- Rodney Orr (died 1994), American NASCAR driver
- Shantee Orr (born 1981), American football player
- Sheena Shirley Orr (born 1959), original name of Scottish singer Sheena Easton
- Stephens Orr, Scottish photographer
- Sydney Sparkes Orr (1914–1966), British/Australian philosopher
- Vickie Orr, American basketball player
- Virgil Orr (born 1923), Louisiana educator and politician
- Wesley Fletcher Orr (1831–1898), Canadian businessman, journalist and politician
- William Orr (1766–1797), of the United Irishmen
- William McFadden Orr (1866–1934), Irish mathematician
- William T. Orr (1917–2002), American television producer
- Fictional characters
- Orr, place names and other meanings
- Orrville (disambiguation), other places named after people with this name
- ^ British Surnames
- ^ a b c d "Learn about the family history of your surname". Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts/default.aspx?. Retrieved 21 February 2010. This webpage cited: Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508137-4. for the surname "Ore".
- ^ "Orr". www.libraryireland.com. http://www.libraryireland.com/AnglicisedSurnames/Orr.php. Retrieved 12 March 2010. This webpage cited: Mac Giolla-Domhnaigh, Padraig. Some Anglicised Surnames in Ireland.
- ^ Bell, Robert (1990) . The Book of Ulster Surnames. Dundonald, Belfast, UK: The Blackstaff Press. p. 211. ISBN 0-85640-405-5.
- ^ Orr, Brian J (2009). Orr-Some: Research Into the Orr Family. United Kingdom: Heritage Books Inc. p. 5. ISBN 9780788442667.
- ^ The Life and Times of the Rev. John Orr, M.A., of Portaferry delivered by James C. Rutherford in the Presbyterian school-room, Portaferry, 29th March 1912. Cited at  (Scribd) and  (Ancestry.com).
- Ulster pedigrees: descendants, in many lines of James Orr and Janet McClement, who emigrated from Scotland to Northern Ireland ca. 1607 by Ray A. Jones
- William Orr of Ireland, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky and his Descendants by Paul J. Ostendorf
- The Book of Ulster Surnames by Robert Bell ISBN 0-85640-405-5
- "Brief Sketch of the Genealogy of Captain Thomas Orr, Late of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and his descendants" compiled by John G. Orr and Andrew M.F. Orr (1923)
This page or section lists people with the surname Orr. If an internal link intending to refer to a specific person led you to this page, you may wish to change that link by adding the person's given name(s) to the link.
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