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The Scottish Nation

ORR, a surname common in Renfrewshire, particularly in the parish of Lochwinnoch, where, at one period, there were some heritors of the name. Hewe de Orr appears in the Ragman Roll as having sworn fealty to Edward I. in 1296. The name occurs also in writs of the time of James IV. The family of Orr of Barrowfield came originally from the parish of Cumbusmethan, in the upper ward of Lanarkshire.

Hugh Orr, born at Lochwinnoch, January 13, 1717, and bred a gunsmith and door-lock filer, went to America, at the age of twenty, and settled at Massachusetts. At Bridgewater, in that State, he set up the first tilt hammer in that part of the country, and for several years he was the only maker in that quarter of edge-tools, the manufacture of which he was the means of spreading through various parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. In 1748 he made 500 muskets for the province of Massachusetts Bay, and during the revolutionary war he engaged actively in the manufacture of arms. In conjunction with a French gentleman, he established a foundry for the casting of cannon and cannon-shot. He also originated the business of experting flax-seed from the part of the country in which he resided. For several years he was elected a senator for the county of Plymouth. He died in December 1798, in his 82 year.

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