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

Where did the Scottish Ayres family come from? What is the Scottish Ayres family crest and coat of arms? 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?

The surname Ayres was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by an ancient Scottish people called the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for someone who lived in the city of Ayr in South-Western Scotland.

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The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years 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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To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were: 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. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  7. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  11. ...

The Ayres Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ayres Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

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

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