"Excerpts from Karr-Carr Collector Vol 2 Jan 1984 No 1."
"The Carr (Kyr, Kjr, Kerr, Carre) Family
compiled by Francis Lee Thurman, MD on his trip to Scotland in the 1930's.
The line of this family goes even back to the old Testament times, to a tribe which were Standard Bearers to the King. The name in Hebrew is KIR. See Isaiah 22;6, also Isaiah 15:1. For places probably named for the tribe, see 2 Kings 3:25, Isaiah 16;7, Jeremiah 48; 31, Joshua 18:14, Amos 1:5, and 9:1, 2 Kings 16:9. But more recently all the KERS, KEERS, CARRES, CARRS in the British Isles, Scotland and Ireland are descended from a Baron KERR who went over to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror and some of his descendants to Scotland and others to the north of Ireland. This Baron KERR is one of the family of King Ollyf Kjrs, who reigned in Normandy in 1005. Baron KERR's name stands on the earliest records of the Normans in England the rool of Battle Abbey, and edifice founded by William I to commemorate the victory which he gained over Harold on the 14 Oct 1066.
The name of KERR, or according to the Norman orthography, KARRE, stands conspicuously on this roll of fame, as corroborated by the celebrated chroniclers, Hollinshed and Dushesne. It has been said that the family was a noble and illustrious one in France before the Conquest, and William's companion was one of its members who became the progenitor of the England and Scottish Ker's, the former being no doubt the parent stock, which probably was settled at Kershall in Lancaster. Several of the names are mentioned by Prinne and others appear on the Ragman Roll, that ancient document which contains a list of those who swore fealty to Edward 1, 1272-1307. Two members of the family of KER, probably from Lancashire stock came to Scotland about the close of the 14th century where they settled in Roxburghshire, founding the two great families of Cessford and Ferniehirst or Kerashaugh as Ferniehirst was first called. It is not know whether the two Anglo - Normans were brothers but they were probably related. Their names are John and Ralph, the former being ancestors of the Kerr's of Cessford, originally styled Auldounburn and the Forest of Selkirk - the latter being the progenitor of the Ker's of Ferniehirst, first styled Kershaugh.
Both families were supporters of the great house of Douglass at that time paramount on the Scottish Border. But a more ancient family than either of the same name, those original derivation is probably from some Anglo - Norman race, existed in the west of Scotland at least 130 years before the Border Chieftain rose up. They no doubt like the Ferniehirst and also the Lancashire stock called the property they had acquired after themselves for it was named Kersland, and to their honor and credit, they held it for 500 year. Though during that time it sent twice into female line: through the failure of sales; the name and title of Kersland being however continued by assumption, but owing to the improvidence and folly of the last John KER, ironically called honest Kirkland, in that well known Jacobits song called "The Awkward Squab" it was wasted.
The noble house of Lothian is derived from the two great Border Houses of Cessford, and Ferniehurst, and being also Earls of Ancrum they derive from and represent the Ferniehirsts through their Ancrum Ancestor. In treating of the two great houses of Cessford and Ferniehirst, priority should be given to former, their chief being a Duke - the Duke of Roxburghe - although during the warfare that existed so long between them, neither would concede the superiority of the other. The Ferniehirst race can show the oldest charter, or at least they possess evidence of having the most ancient holdings. A warned writer considers the Ferniehirst the older, because they carried the same arms of the KER'S in England and France, without any difference or Change. The word KER signifies strength and carries this same meaning in the Bible. The first notable personage of the family was John KER of the Forest Selkirk, who in 1357 obtained from John de Copeland, an English warden all the lands and tenement of Auldtounburn with their pertainments which formerly belonged to "Adam of Beale" and next year received from William of Blackdeane part of the lands of Mow and Auldtunburn, being the territory which is now represented in the name of Mowbough extending to the English border at the summit of the Chevoits. This John KERR of Selkirk Forest, living in 1357 was father of Henry, sheriff of Roxburgh, whose son Robert was father of Andrew of Auldbounburn. This Andrew Kerr had three sons. From the youngest came the Kers, of Gateshaw and from the second came the Kers of Linton. The eldest was father of Walter of Cessford who had two sons. From the youngest descended the Kers of Delphinstoun, Littledeane and Morrison. The eldest Sir. Robert of Caverton, died in his father's lifetime, leaving two sons, George of Faudonside and Sir Andrew, who succeeded to his grandfather in Cessford. It was this Sir George of Faudonside, who was a prominent factor in getting rid of David Rizzio, who the nobles thought too intimate with Mary Queen of Scots. Ruthven, George Douglass, George Kerr of Faudonside, Lindsay and Darnley (Mary's husband) and other nobles came into the presence of the Queen and took Rizzio out and Douglass buried his dagger in his back before he crossed the threshold.
Sir Andrew had three sons. From the first are descended the Dukes of Roxburghe. The second had a son, Mark, who was created Earl of Lothian, 1606. But the title became extinct in 1624. The third son of Sir Andrew of Cessford was ancestor to Sir Thomas of Fernieherst whose son by his first marriage was created Lord Jedburgh in 1622. By this second marriage he had two sons- Sir James who became Lord Jedburgh and Robert, Earl of Somerset in 1613. Robert of Ancrum, Uncle of the above named Sir Thomas had two grandsons, William from whom descended the Kerr's of Linton, and Sir Robert created Earl of Ancrum in 1633 and was succeeded in title by Charles, son of his second marriage. His grandson by his first marriage, Robert, fourth Earl of Lothian also succeeded to the Earldom of Ancrum and was created Marquis of Lothian in 1701. The present (1934) Marquis of Lothian is his direct descendent.
Better keep the devil
at the door than turn him out of the house.