Orr Family History & Genealogy

94 photos and 26,138 biographies with the Orr last name. Discover the family history, nationality, origin and common names of Orr family members.

Orr Last Name History & Origin

Updated Aug 16, 2020


ORR NAME (From a family history researched by Howard G. Orr, 1908 - 1996)

Traditions say that the name, Orr, is of Scotch origin.

One tradition says that it comes from the French name D'Or, becoming Dorr and then Orr in Great Britain. The story is that the D'Ors came to Scotland with William the Conqueror in 1066 and were given lands for their services. (The French "d'or" means "of gold." A range of hills southeast of Paris is named Cote d'Or - hills of gold.)

Another tradition is that the name, Orr was originally MacGregor and all of the name was dropped except the last syllable following the defeat of the MacGregors by the clan Campbell. These defeated people named the river Ayr or Orr in their retreat and set it as a deadline.

Much discussion has taken place over the years with regard to the origin of the name Orr. It has swayed to and fro between England, Ireland and Scotland. It is generally agreed that the name is a corruption of the Gaelic "odhar" which indicates "one of pale complexion", but records do not show the name as being of Irish origin.

There is little doubt that the surname Orr is an appellation of a group of Scottish inhabitants who claim descent from the same ancestor. Records show that they originated in Renfrewshire, Scotland, and the ancestor in question was of fair or pale complexion.

The name is prominent in the Northeastern part of Ireland, which is the point nearest Scotland and it is generally believed that these Orr families stemmed from there.

In the year 1296 a Hew Orr "rendered homage" in return for a piece of land. In those days when a man "rendered homage" he became a Vassal to a King or Nobleman and in return for his promise to fight forty days in any one year to protect the King from his enemies, help pay ransom money in the event his master might be kidnapped or captured by the enemy, he would receive land and a house which he could hand down to his son when he died. The ceremony of "rendering homage" was elaborate and solemn and was an honor in those days when many people were serfs.

In the year 1503 four persons named Orr were summoned to Court to answer serious charges of "bad conduct" made against them by the Abbot of Paisley.

The ancient coat-of-arms granted to the name Orr is blazoned "Gules, three piles in point argent, on a chief or a tortears between two crosses crosslet fitchee of the field." The background of the shield is red on which is three points of silver. A gold band across the top is charged with a red circle between two crosses pointed at the bottom. The name is also from the Norse, Orri, meaning Black Grouse. There is developing evidence that we were Vikings who came to Scotland on one of the raids and stayed. According to oral history, an Orr sailed with Erik the Red in 1000 A.D.

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Spellings & Pronunciations

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Nationality & Ethnicity

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Early Orrs

These are the earliest records we have of the Orr family.

1733 - Mar 13, 1784
1790 - 1862
1790 - 1873
1800 - 1886
1803 - 1876
1803 - 1893
1808 - 1890
1812 - 1884
1812 - 1898
1813 - 1908

Orr Family Members

Orr Family Tree

Discover the most common names, oldest records and life expectancy of people with the last name Kroetch.

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Most Common First Names

Sample of 20 Orr Biographies

Feb 21, 1874 - Unknown
May 8, 1918 - Oct 28, 2000
Nov 10, 1873 - January 1971
Aug 16, 1903 - May 1983
Jul 27, 1880 - May 15, 1967
Dec 7, 1920 - Jan 28, 2001
Apr 16, 1888 - November 1963
Aug 28, 1915 - October 1973
Jul 24, 1915 - May 4, 2008
Oct 30, 1877 - July 1964
Jan 24, 1925 - Aug 2, 2006
Jul 8, 1944 - May 1967
Nov 11, 1913 - Jun 12, 1992
Jun 5, 1910 - February 1986
c. 1967 - Unknown
c. 1967 - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - 1895
Unknown - Unknown
c. 1914 - Unknown

Orr Death Records & Life Expectancy

The average age of a Orr family member is 71.0 years old according to our database of 19,573 people with the last name Orr that have a birth and death date listed.

Life Expectancy

71.0 years

Oldest Orrs

These are the longest-lived members of the Orr family on AncientFaces.

Sep 16, 1895 - Jan 16, 2004
108 years
Oct 5, 1879 - February 1986
106 years
Oct 8, 1891 - Feb 15, 1998
106 years
Nov 20, 1887 - May 20, 1994
106 years
Mar 14, 1903 - Jun 24, 2009
106 years
Oct 6, 1899 - Feb 7, 2005
105 years
Aug 20, 1890 - Nov 14, 1995
105 years
Feb 19, 1869 - February 1975
105 years
Jan 6, 1886 - Apr 11, 1989
103 years
Oct 17, 1907 - Oct 22, 2010
103 years

Other Orr Records

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Gregory Orr
3 favorites
I noticed some discussion about Luke Orr. He is my great-grandfather. His son, Irving Orr, is my grandfather. Irving Orr married Cora Kiefer and their second child was Edgar Orr, my father. We don't have any information about Luke Orr after he left the family and presumably moved to Seattle??
Jan 02, 2011 · Reply
Kathy Orr Singh
2 favorites
Looking for relatives of William. Fred.Duane and Eugene Orr from South Dakota
Feb 23, 2015 · Reply

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