The Scottish surname Orr, also found in northern England and northern Ireland, is derived from the Old Norse byname Orri meaning “blackcock”(the male black grouse).The name Orr may also be a nickname for someone with a sallow complexion, from the Gaelic term odhar meaning “pale.” The surname is widely recorded in Renfrewshire, Scotland from the end of the 13th century. One, Hew Orr rendered homage in 1296. The occurence of the name in Ireland is comparatively modern i.e. mid 17th Century. On September 17th 1661 the christening of Arthur, son of Thomas and Saine Orr, is recorded in St. Michan's, Dublin. However, the majority of namebearers reside in the Ulster counties of Antrim, Down, Armagh and Tyrone.Alexander Ector Orr (1831 - 1914), born in Strabane (Co. Tyrone) was the pioneer of subways in New York City. Today there are more than 45,000 bearers of the family name Orr living in The United States.
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