Kerr / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Kerr was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Kerr is usually of Scottish origin. John Kerr of the Forest of Selkirk, 1357, was father of Henry, Sheriff of Roxburgh, whose son, Robert, was father of Andrew of Auldtounburn. This Andrew Kerr had three sons. From the youngest came the Kerrs of Gateshaw, and from the second the Kerrs of Linton. The second son was father of Walter Cessford, who had two sons. From the younger descended the Kerrs of Dolphinstoun, Littledean, and Morriston. The elder, Sir Robert of Caverton, died, leaving two sons, George of Faudonside, and Sir Andrew who succeeded his grandfather in Cessford. Sir Andrew had three sons. From the first are descended the Dukes of Roxburgh. The second had a son, Mark, who was created Earl of Lothian in 1606, but the title became extinct in 1624. The third son was Sir Andrew of Cessford who was ancestor of Sir Thomas of Ferniehirst. In Ireland Kerr was introduced into Ulster Province by settlers from Scotland during the seventeenth century. The native Gaelic MacFhearadaigh Sept of Oriel also sometimes anglicized their name as Kerr as well as Carr and McCarry.The Kerr family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Kerr descendants.