"The MARR HEIRS"
February 1716 - The Jacobite Rebellion was over, having been started the year prior by Sir John Erskine, Earl of Mar, in an attempt to return the former King James to the throne of England and Scotland. Mar (with the Pretender) had fled to France, while his Jacobite followers were imprisoned and tried for treason, their lands confiscated. The following year, the "Indemnity Act of 1717" would release many of those prisoners still being held in English prisons, who would either return home or resettle overseas. For the Earl of Mar, he remained in France until his death in 1732, as his title of nobility and lands back in Scotland were forfeit due to a "writ of attainder" passed in 1716. This writ would not be lifted until 1824, again allowing the "Earl of Mar" title to be used, and passed to an heir of John Erskine.
Circa 1717 - Portsmouth, Province of New Hampshire and Kittery, (Maine)
It is written, via secondary sources, that John Erskine de Mar, aka John of Mar, or John Marr, arrived here in the colonies on this date, though a primary source for this year is still being sought out. He married in Kittery on 16 July 1719 (intents filed 27 June), to Catherine Surplus of Kittery. The couple are seen as witnesses in a couple of deeds in 1720-1721, with her step-father, William Godsoe, selling land to them in 1724. John Marr is said to have died in 1750 from exposure after being shipwrecked on Cape Cod. He left five sons and two daughters as heirs.
Fast forward to 1824 - the attainder on the Earldom of Mar now removed, the Erskine family regained their hereditary title. This was a branch of the Erskine line that did not participate in the 1715 Rebellion (and, I'm assuming, did not take part in the 1719 or 1745 ones!) and, having already purchased back some of the lost lands during the last 100 years, now had a title to accompany their estate.
A movement begins in the United States, primarily in New England, where the descendants of this JOHN MARR of Kittery, Maine, who they believed was the son of the deposed Earl of Mar back in 1716, gathered to discuss plans on sending an agent to England, in an attempt to have this estate returned to its "rightful heirs".
Due to a death in the Scottish Erskine family, two heirs fought to claim the title of "Earl of Mar", both being descendants of Sir John Erskine (1675-1732). Again, the American Marr family sprang up, with the "Marr claim" returning in March 1873, and a Marr (Claim) Association formed in Portland, Maine. They soon began raising money to send a representative over to England to try and acquire the property. This time, however, the property was in Scotland, on the River Dee (whereas in the 1830's, they said it was in Newcastle-On-Tyne in England), and said to be worth $60 million. Considering the dollar amount, this made the newspapers nationwide (as $60 million in 1873 would amount to over $1.2 billion dollars today), though many added comments to the articles seemed to dismiss this claim. Another claim was started in 1874 in Michigan by a different branch of the Marr family, one that claimed the estate was worth $250 million [Daily Inter-Ocean (Chicago, IL), 9/4/1874]. With both cases, mention of their claims soon disappeared from print.
John Colby Marr [a member of the 1870's claim association], in his 1892 entry in the American Ancestry publication, carried on with the claim that John Erskine De Mar of Kittery was the son of Sir John Erskine. He even had a birth date for John Marr, listed as 6 Jan 1694 in Hillston (Hilston) Park, England. The origins of that birth date are not yet known to me, but may have been found by a Marr researcher in England. A few years later, a different "origins" story came about, seemingly started with Gideon Ridlon's 1895 book Saco Valley Settlements, and one repeated by Henry W. Fernald in his 1898 article in Old Eliot Magazine [Vol. II, No. VIII]. They both explained that John was instead the second son of Hon. Edward Erskine of Gateshead-on-Tyne, and was from the House of Alva, which was a branch of the house of Mar [descended from Charles Erskine, fifth son of John, seventh Earl of Mar]. Research conducted by author James Jamison failed to find an "Edward" Erskine in the House of Alva, at least one of age to have been the father of John Erskine (aka Marr).
To this day, the Earldom of Mar is held by heirs of the Erskine family, just not the American ones!
American Ancestry (Vol. VII, pg 186)
Jamison, James F. The Descendants of John and Catherine Marr of Kittery. Zelienople, PA: c1985 [not online]
Old Kittery and Her Families, pg 604 (MARR family)
Old Eliot, Vol II, No. VIII (pg 121 - "The Marr Heirs")
Portland Daily Press, 3/27/1873
Saco Valley Settlements and Families (pg 904 - American Family of Marr)