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

Where did the Scottish Bour family come from? What is the Scottish Bour family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bour family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bour family history?

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Bour. It is a name for someone who works as a maker of bows. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word bower, which means bow maker.

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Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Bour has been spelled Bower, Bowre, Bowyr, Bowers, Bowyer, Beauer and many more.

First found in Peeblesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd nam Płballan), former county in South-central Scotland, in the present day Scottish Borders Council Area, where they held a family seat in the old manor of Bower in the parish of Drummelzier.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bour research. Another 377 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1317, 1387, 1489, 1479, 1615, 1671 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Bour History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 31 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bour Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bour family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 41 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Bour Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Christopher Bour, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731
  • Andreas Bour, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Johans Erck Bour, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737
  • Jacob Bour, aged 20, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738

Bour Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Peter Bour, who landed in Arkansas in 1890

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ad metam
Motto Translation: To the mark.

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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  8. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  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.
  11. ...

The Bour Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bour 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 24 October 2013 at 13:00.

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