Possible common ancestor.

The earliest known Orr recorded in Ulster is James Orr, b ca 1580 in Beith Scotland who with his wife Janet McClement settled in Ballyblack, Co. Down in 1607. We know of James and Janet and their descendents through the work of Gawin Orr of Castlereagh, who researched and documented some 2,900 relatives in his epic `Ulster Pedigree`. This has been added to and published by Ray A Jones in 1977 under the title of " Ulster Pedigrees Descendants, in Many Lines, of James ORR and Janet McCLEMENT who Emigrated from Scotland to Northern Ireland ca 1607 "  This book is in the Latter Day Saints Library in Salt Lake City, Call no 929.2415 Or7j; and on fiche  #6036613. It may occasionally turn up on the second hand book market (eg www.abebooks.com) but is increasingly rare and expensive.

The Montgomery Manuscripts is a record of the plantation of Scottish settlers on the estates of Sir Hugh Montgomery in the Ards ca 1607. It includes a very valuable note of the many families with whom the Orrs are connected by marriage which are listed here. I will do searches of my copy, but please be as specific as you can. All 2900 named persons are by definition, related. But the work is 154 pages, short on dates, and still in copyright. I cannot therefore blanket copy everything.

A growing number of Orr`s have had DNA tests done and a pattern is emerging of two main locations - Londonderry/Donegal; and Newtownards/ Co. Down. The indications are that they reflect the migration of the family from Ballyblack. James Orr (1580) had two son James and Patrick. Gawin Orr remarks that Patrick and his descendants migrated to Armagh and Donegal and regrettably gives no details of that branch.  James, the elder son, remained in the Ards and is thought to be the ancestor of a large number of Orrs in that area. The implication is that James Orr (1580) is the common ancestor for many Orrs in Ulster. This  sits comfortably with a span of 14-16 generations.

Specific comparisons.

Orr Name Study Ulster Scots Reference material