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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. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  7. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  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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