What is the origin of the last name Carr?

The last name Carr has its origin in the Gaelic language, deriving from the word "carrach," meaning "rocky" or "stony." It typically originated as a topographic or locational surname, denoting someone who resided near a rocky or stony area. The surname Carr is prevalent in Ireland, particularly in counties Sligo and Mayo, where it suggests a connection to the ancient Gaelic clans of O'Carra and MacCarragh. Over time, Carr has spread beyond Ireland, and variations of the name can also be found in England and other English-speaking countries.

Countries of origin for the last name Carr

The last name Carr has its origins in several different languages and cultures, making it a fascinating subject for genealogical and etymological research. Here are the facts about the Carr last name:

The name Carr is of English, Scottish, and Irish origin. In England and Scotland, Carr is derived from the Old Norse word “karr,” meaning “marsh,” “fen,” or “low-lying wetland.” This suggests that the initial bearers of the surname may have lived near or had some association with such landscapes. The Scottish usage is more predominant in the region of Dumfries and Galloway.

In Ireland, the name Carr is an anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Ó Carra, meaning “descendant of Carra.” The Irish Carra sept was located in County Kilkenny and descendants of this sept still bear the Carr surname today.

Carr is also an English habitational surname, derived from various places named Carr throughout England. These places are typically associated with marshy or fenland areas, reinforcing the connection to the Old Norse meaning of the name.

Migration and assimilation during the colonial era brought the Carr surname to the United States. Many Carr families can trace their roots back to early settlers in Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Over time, Carr has become a relatively common surname across the country.

One notable individual with the surname Carr is Sir Robert Carr, who was an English soldier and courtier in the early 17th century. He was granted the title Earl of Somerset and married Frances Howard, a noblewoman at the time. Their marriage was marred by scandal and intrigue, leading to a highly publicized murder trial.

In conclusion, the last name Carr encompasses various linguistic and geographical origins, including English, Scottish, and Irish. It is associated with marshy or wetland landscapes and has been passed down through generations both in the British Isles and the United States. The story of the Carr surname is one that spans centuries and continents, reflecting the complexities of human migration and cultural exchange.

Interesting facts about the last name Carr

  • The surname Carr can have multiple origins, including Irish, Scottish, and English.
  • In Ireland, Carr is derived from the Gaelic word “carraig,” meaning “rock” or “stony place.”
  • Carr can also be an occupational surname, originating from the Middle English word “carr,” which referred to a cart or carriage driver.
  • While Carr is a relatively common surname, it can have various spellings, such as Car, Carrick, and McCarron.
  • The Carrs of Northumberland, England, were historically one of the most prominent families in the region.
  • Some notable individuals with the surname Carr include actress Tia Carrere, British diplomat Sir Austin Carr, and American writer Emily Carr.
  • There are several places named Carr in the United States, including Carr, Colorado, and Carr, Kentucky.
  • The Carr surname has spread throughout the world due to migration and emigration from Ireland, Scotland, and England.
  • In heraldry, the Carr coat of arms typically features a chevron between three black heads.
  • The Carr surname holds various meanings in different languages. For example, in Basque, it means “commitment,” while in Catalan it means “quiver.”

Name Rank


There are around 119076 people with the last name Carr in the US

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