The ultimate origin of this name is believed to be topographic from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ora" meaning a shore or slope. Several places in England are named with this element including Oare in Berkshire, Wiltshire, Kent, etc., and Ore in Sussex. The first recording of the surname in England is at the beginning of the 13th Century, (see below). 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. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes de (of) Ore. which was dated 1210 - The Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire. during the reign of King John Nickname "Lackland" 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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