Orr Family History on Several Continents

Starting in Aghadowey Parish, Londonderry

Orr, Campbell, Mitchell, and Shirley Families

In Ireland, America, and More

The third edition of the history of the Orr, Campbell, Mitchell, and Shirley families (which in its title now recognizes that Paul Orr and Isabella Boyd’s descendants went to places beyond the U.S.) is updated as of 2019. The more than 2,600 known descendants (counting spouses) of Paul Orr and Isabella Boyd went largely to the U.S., but also to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Scotland. Some McMurtry, Mitchell, McQuigg and Forsythe families stayed in Ireland.

In the U.S., they have lived in, died in, or been married in 49 of the 50 states. Vermont must be too far north. They do tend to cluster, though, with Oklahoma being the state that drew a bunch from the Midwestern families. That makes sense, since it was opened for land sales at a time when the Orr family was on the move. Of course, California beckoned to some in each family.

As they settled in, the Orrs married into families of all the other immigrants — and of the Native American residents who were there long before Europeans. They have also married into families of other races. Truly melding into the melting pot.

And what did they do in their respective countries? In Ireland, several families were millers. They brought the trade to the U.S., first operating mills on rivers in the Midwest, then owning a flour mill in Missouri. Mining was an industry open to anyone, and some worked in the coal mines and steel mills of Philadelphia while others mined in Kansas. Many, many farmed.

Those who came to the U.S. later (specifically the Campbell and George Orr families, who came after 1860) were better educated than the families of William and James who came in the 1830s. The early families had to build the schools and churches in the U.S. Midwest. The Campbell and George Orr families spawned many educators.

There is more to learn about families that went to New Zealand or Canada, or who stayed in Ireland. 

NOTE: The electronic version is only on Google. Paperback editions are reasonably priced.

Orr Campbell, Mitchell, and Shirley Families in Ireland and America and More