Recorded as Carah, Caurah, Corah, Corra, Cura, and possibly others, this is believed to be a Scottish or Irish locational surname, although one which is not recorded in any of the standard dictionaries of surnames of either country. It is quite rare except in certain "pockets," and may originate from the castle of Corah, also the site of a now lost village, near Kirkcudbright in Scotland. This castle and estate was the former seat of the ancient Lord of Herries, a family believed to have been extinct for several centuries. Another explanation which cannot be ignored, although again we have no definative proof, it at it is a variant of the Irish place name Curragh, which is certainly possible. Surnames from "lost" villages are a feature of British Isles surname listings, and it is estimated that at least three thousand do originate from such sources, with more being found all the time. As to the meaning of the name, it would seem that for most place names in the British Isles begining with "Cor" is a Norse-Viking word which refers to the crane bird. Seemingly that nested here in considerable number in pre-medieval times, however this is an unproven explanation. Curragh may mean uneven ground, which if true seems a strange place for a famous race course. Examples of the surname recording include Mary Ellen Corah, who married Thomas Wade, at Oxton, Nottinghamshire on October 31st 1758, whilst in the city of London Francis Corah was christened at St Lukes Finsbury, on November 20th 1772, and William Caurah married An Lacy at Radford, Nottinghamshire, on April 8th 1832.
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