KER, KERR (in the old county of) Roxburgh DATE: 1357 MEANING: a territorial name probably from BRYTHONIC caer `fort´. Johannes Ker, huntsman, was recorded in 1190 and the names Ker, Kaurr, Keyr, Kayr and Kerre appeared in the 13th century. John Kerr was mentioned in a charter in 1357.

The Kerrs are traditionally said to be of Anglo-Norman descent settling in the Scottish Borders in the 14th century, however the first of the name appears to be John Ker hunter of Swinhope. 

The two main rival branches of the Kerrs descended from two brothers, Ralph and John who were living near Jedburgh in the 14th century.  The Kerrs of Ferniehurst were descended from the eldest and the Kers of Cessford from John.  Although the two families were constantly in bitter conflict the descendants of both these houses were appointed Wardens of the Middle Marches; Sir Andrew of Ferniehurst in 1502 and Sir Andrew of Cessford after the Battle of Flodden.The Kerrs continued to oppose one another during the 16th century and on the death of James IV, when his widow Margaret Tudor remarried the Douglas Earl of Angus, the Kers of Cessford supported the English Queen-mother and the Kerrs of Ferniehurst the young King, James V.  was forced to flee to England when Angus was exiled only to return on the death of James V in 1542 when Sir John Kerr of Ferniehurst lost his castle. The castle was recaptured in 1549 and the English who had repeatedly raped the Kerr women, rather than being killed, were captured and horribly tortured. The rivalry continued when Sir Thomas of Ferniehurst fought for Mary Queen of Scots at Langside and Sir Walter Cessford on the side of James VI.The feud was resolved on the political level by the Union of the Crown and by the marriage of Anne Ker of Cessford to William Kerr of Ferniehurst.From this couple descend the Earls and Marquesses of Lothian. Sir Robert Cessford, son of Sir Walter mentioned above was created Lord Roxburgh in 1637. By marraige to the heiress of the Earl of Roxburgh, Sir William Drummond became 2nd Earl of Roxburgh and assumed the name of Kerr. His descendant, John, 5th Earl was created Duke of Roxburgh. Following the failure of the line with the death of John, 3rd Duke of Roxburgh the title passed to Sir James Innes of that Ilk who was 25th Chief of the Innes who adopted the name of Kerr. 

The chief of the Clan Kerr is the Marquess of Lothian and the Duke of Roxburgh is the Chief of the Innes.

Ref:Columbia Encyclopedia > Somerset, Robert Carr

Robert Carr, earl of Somerset, 1587?–1645, Scottish favorite of James I of England. His family name also appears as Ker. He may have accompanied James to England as a page in 1603, but he appears to have spent some time in France before returning to the English court.

He soon became close to James, was knighted (1607), and in 1609 he was granted lands that had been forfeited by Sir Walter Raleigh. He was created (1611) Viscount Rochester, served James as personal secretary, and became earl of Somerset in 1613.

In the same year he married Frances Howard, the countess of Essex (who had her marriage to the 3d earl of Essex annulled in a sensational trial). In 1614, Somerset was made lord chamberlain. He became an important counselor to the king, but his jealous and arrogant nature alienated James's affections.

On the discovery of the murder of his former friend, Sir Thomas Overbury, Somerset and his wife were tried and found guilty (1616) of perpetrating it, although Somerset's guilt was not definitely established. They were both pardoned but not released until 1622.

Three brothers, Robert, John, and David came from County Londonderry, Ireland in the Spring of 1708 and landed at Philadelphia.
They were purely Scotch, having been in Ireland less than a year. They claimed to have descended from Robert Ker (Carr), Earl of Somerset, the infamous Lord Ker who was so conspicuous a personage during the reign of James 1. They had some documentary proof of the same, all of which has long since disappeared and remains only as tradition.

John located in Northern Georgia; soon thereafter, he migrated to Mecklingburg County, NC as early as 1720 or 1725.

John had two sons: Robert and William. Robert lived to be 99 years of age and died at Charlotte,NC, on the farm where his father first settled.

Had Issue:

1. William Kerr

*ROBERT KERR b. 1750 d. 1873/1893(Mecklingburg Co.NC) m. 5 DEC 1775 Brown, Barbara
Had Issue

1.*HUGH KERR b.1777
2. John Kerr
3. William Kerr
4. daughter_____Kerr M. Elihu McCracken
5. daughter_____Kerr

*HUGH KERR b. 27 APR 1776 ,Mecklenburg Co(NC) m. Brown, Jane b. 1779 d. 25 FEB 1842 ,Giles,TN,USA
Had Issue:

1. Kerr, Robert Birth : 24 APR 1803 ,Mecklenburg,NC,USA Death : 12 FEB 1864 ,Polk,MO,USA
2. Nancy Scott Kerr b. 16 Dec.1804(NC) m._____Armour
3. Benjamin Brown Kerr b.12 May,1806(NC) m. Jane Orr
4. William M. Kerr b.22 Nov,1808(NC) d.Hood Co.Tx.
5. James Milas Kerr b. 24 Apr.1811(NC)
6. Jane Emeline Kerr b.23 Dec.1812(NC) m. Washington Armour
7. *FANNIE ELINOR KERR b. 3 Oct.1814(NC) d.2 Dec.1872(Giles Co.TN) m. William Donnell Orr 26 Sep.1833(Giles Co.Tn)
8. Martha Narcissus Kerr b. 25 Mar.1816
9. Mary Elizabeth Kerr . 13 Apr.1819 m. 16 Jan 1840(Robertson Fork,Tn) Samuel King Orr
10. Margaret Daisy Kerr b. 12 Jan.1822 m.____Tice;2nd John Cochran

War Of 1812: Gen Andrew Jackson, Sgt.Standerford Capt Hugh Kerr, Kerr's Mounted Rangers
Giles County, Tennessee

Martha Ann Orr~Ephraim Parham Park 1 1