This old family, said to be of Norman descent, are recorded in the Borders in the 12th century. The two main families were the Kerrs of Cessford, now represented by the Duke of Roxburghe, and the Kerrs of Ferniehurst, represented by the Marquis of Lothian, Sir Andrew Kerr of Ferniehurst was Warden of the Middle Marches in 1502, and when his castle was besieged by the English he defended it so ferociously that the besiegers alleged he was helped by the devil. Robert Kerr, Earl of Lothian and Ancrum, was created Marquis of Lothian in 1701. There were other important branches of this family, including Fawdonsyde and Cavers-Carre.
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