Gaelic Name: Cearr, MacGhillechearr
Motto: Sero sed serio (Late but in earnest)
Origin of Name: British, caer (Fort)
Seat: Ferniehirst Castle, Roxburghshire
The vikings termed marsh dwellers “kjrr”. When their descendants arrived in Britain from Normandy with William the Conqueror the term had become a name with the forms Ker and Kerr, also Carr and Carre. From Arran on the Celtic West Coast comes a claim that the name is derived from the Gaelic for “strength”. Scottish records from the time of William the Lion mention John Ker, the hunter of Swinhope, but it was around 1330 that two brothers, Ralph and John, moved from Lancashire to Roxburgh to establish the principal Kerr families of Scotland. Ralph’s descendants became the Kerrs of Ferniehurst, the senior branch, whilst John was progenitor of the Kerrs of Cessford.