When James Kerr was born in 1847, in Kilraughts, County Antrim, Ireland, his father, Robert Kerr, was 31 and his mother, Mary Ann Carson, was 26. He married Jeannie Smith on 31 October 1871, in New Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdom. They were the parents of at least 4 sons and 3 daughters. He died on 8 October 1905, in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, at the age of 58.
English and Scottish: topographic name for someone who lived by a marsh or swampy woodland, Middle English kerr ‘brushwood, wet ground’ (Old Norse kjarr). A legend grew up that the Kerrs were left-handed, on theory that the name is derived from Gaelic cearr ‘wrong-handed, left-handed’.
Irish: variant of Carr .
Americanized form of German Kehr or of some other similar (like-sounding) surname.