There were numerous ORR lines in various communities of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It is very difficult to sort them out, especially since they tended to use the same given names.
My ancestor was listed as James "Whistling" Orr in the early Mecklenburg County tax rolls. This was in order to distinguish him from James "Jockey" Orr and James "heretick" Orr, contemporaries who lived in the same district.
The family tradition is that ancestor James Orr was born in Antrim County in Northern Ireland, of Scots-Irish ancestry. An early Mecklenburg County, NC deed refers to him as "James Orr late of Pennsylvania, weaver." Thus, we know his profession.
My ancestor James Orr was born in Ireland on 24 Jun 1743. He died in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on 17 Mar 1829.
James Orr settled in the Goose Creek Township of what is now Union County, North Carolina. He was a private in Captain Charles Polk's regiment during the American Revolutionary War. He married first to Sarah McConnell in 1770. They had six sons before Sarah died in 1783.
James next married Margaret Jane Lemmond, the daughter of William Marr Lemmond. They were married in 1785, and had three sons and three daughters. James and Jane Orr were listed as members of Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Mint Hill, Mecklenburg County, NC - close to the border with Union County. Both died in March 1829.
Many of the "local" descendants of James Orr were soldiers, policemen and firemen. John Garrison Alexander Orr was wounded twice as a soldier, and served as a deputy sheriff in Charlotte. Joseph Lemmond Orr was Chief of Police, as was his son, Walter Baxter Orr. Joseph Eccles Orr was a Captain in the Charlotte Fire Department, and was later Chief of Detectives in the Charlotte Police. James Harvey Orr was elected Constable. William Silas Orr was Fire Chief as well as Police Chief in Charlotte, and was elected as an Alderman. Five sons of Silas Gilbright Orr joined the Army of the Confederacy.
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