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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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  6. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
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This page was last modified on 17 October 2014 at 16:56.

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