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

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

A Boernician family in ancient Scotland were the ancestors of those who first used the name Byars. They lived in or near the place named Byers in Scotland. The place-name, Byers, derives from the Old English word byre, which means cattle shed. Thus, Byers is of two derivations, topographical and habitational. Topographic surnames could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.

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Spelling variations occur frequently in Scottish names that date from the medieval era. They result from a general lack of grammatical rules and the tendency to spell names according to sound. Byars has been spelled Byers, Byres, Byer, Buyers, Byris and others.

First found in East Lothian, where they held a family seat from ancient times. One of the first records of the name related to the place name as in David de Lindsay the younger, also called David Lindsay of the Byres (died 1279), a 13th century Scottish knight and crusader. Today, Byres Road is a famous street located in Hillhead, Glasgow.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byars research. Another 261 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1309, 1392, 1534, 1593, 1653, 1639 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Byars History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Byars Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Byars family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 20th century, the ancestors of many of those Boernician-Scottish people still populate North America. They distributed themselves on either side of the border at the time of the War of Independence. United Empire Loyalists went north to Canada and those who wanted a new nation stayed south. Both groups went on to found great nations. Some of the first North American settlers with Byars name or one of its variants:

Byars Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • W.A. Byars, aged 36, who emigrated to America, in 1893

Byars Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Mrs Byars, aged 30, who settled in America from Johnston, in 1900
  • Jas Byars, aged 1, who landed in America from Johnston, in 1900
  • Malcolm Byars, aged 35, who landed in America from Kilmarnock, in 1900
  • Geo. Byars, aged 26, who landed in America from Edzell, Scotland, in 1904
  • Robt. Byars, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1905


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  • Derrick JaVaughn Byars (b. 1984), American professional basketball player
  • Betsy Cromer Byars (b. 1928), American Edgar Award winning author of children's books
  • Keith Alan Byars (b. 1963), American sports broadcaster, former American NFL football player
  • Mel Byars (b. 1938), American design historian
  • Dennis Byars (b. 1940), American politician, Nebraska state senator


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  • Byars Family History: With Information or Records on...Allied Lines by Nell Byars Thaten.
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  1. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 14 March 2014 at 18:58.

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