The surname CARR was a locational name 'the dweller at the carr' a low-lying meadow. The name was derived from the Old English word 'kerr'. This was a popular Yorkshire font name during the 12th and 13th centuries. SURNAMES as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. The name was derived from the Old English word 'kerr'. This was a popular Yorkshire font name during the 12th and 13th centuries.
Early records of the name mention William Carre, County Oxford, 1279. John del Carr of County Lancashire, was documented in the year 1332. Thomas Carr of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. James Carr and Ann Holt were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in the year 1843.
This English surname was taken to Ireland by early settlers and has been used as the anglicized form of several different Irish surnames including, Carry, MacElhar, Kerrane and Mulcair. The Irish prefixes of Mac (son of) and O (grandson or descendant of) gave rise at an early date, to a set of fixed hereditary names in which the literal patronymic meaning was lost or obscured. These surnames originally signified membership of a clan, but with the passage of time, the clan system became less distinct, and surnames came to identify membership of what is called a 'sept' of people all living in the same locality, all bearing the same surname, but not necessarily descended from a common ancestor. Adoption of the name by people who did not otherwise have a surname and by their dependents was not uncommon. Later, nicknames were in some cases to supersede the original clan names.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Ireland.
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