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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Ayres family come from? When did the Ayres family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ayres family history?

It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Ayres. It was a name for someone who lived in the city of Ayr in South-Western Scotland.

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Scribes in Medieval Scotland spelled names by sound rather than any set of rules, so an enormous number of spelling variations exist in names of that era. Ayres has been spelled Ayer, Air, Ayre, Ayers and others.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where the family has held a family seat from ancient times. One of the first on record was Reginald Ayr, who was Clerk of Ayr in 1287 and Albinus Ayr had a charter of lands from King Robert the Bruce in 1315.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ayres research. Another 133 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1522, 1567, 1638 and 1712 are included under the topic Early Ayres History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 37 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ayres Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Ayres family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The number of Strathclyde Clan families sailing for North America increased steadily as the persecution continued. In the colonies, they could find not only freedom from the iron hand of the English government, but land to settle on. The American War of Independence allowed many of these settlers to prove their independence, while some chose to go to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots played essential roles in the forging of both great nations. Among them: John Ayer, who was on record in Massachusetts in 1635; Simon Ayer, his wife Dorothy and their eight children, who all settled in Massachusetts in 1635.

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  • William Orville Ayres (1817-1887), American physician and ichthyologist
  • Romeyn B. Ayres (1825-1888), Union general in the American Civil War
  • Agnes Ayres (1898-1940), American silent film actor
  • Leonard Porter Ayres (1879-1946), American statistician
  • Lewis Frederick "Lew" Ayres III (1908-1996), American actor, best known for starring as Paul in All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Ian Ayres (b. 1959), American professor at Yale Law School and Yale School of Management
  • Robert Underwood Ayres (b. 1932), American-born physicist and economist
  • Robert Ayres (1914-1968), American film, stage and television actor
  • Vernon Ayres (b. 1909), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Pam Ayres MBE (b. 1947), British writer of humorous poetry

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  1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  3. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 26 July 2014 at 11:26.

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