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.