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KERR Family History

Recorded as Ker, Kerr and Keir, this interesting name is Anglo-Scottish, but ultimately of pre 7th century Old Norse origins. It is or was topographical and found mainly in the famous "Border counties" of the two countries. It describes someone who lived near a patch of wet ground overgrown with brushwood. The derivation of the name is from the word "kjarr", meaning copsewood, brushwood, or wet ground, which became in Northern English "kerr", describing a bog or fen, covered with low brushwood. The surname from this source is first recorded in Scotland (see below), where the Lothian branch of the family spell their name as Kerr, although the Roxburgh branch use Ker...

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