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

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

The annals of Scottish history suggest that the ancestors of the name Byars lived among the Boernician tribe of the Scottish-English border region. The Byars family 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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In the Middles Ages scribes spelled names by their sound. Often a name was written under a different spelling variation each time it was recorded. Byars has appeared as 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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The ancestors of Boernician-Scottish settlers dot North America even today. They settled all along the east coast when they came over, but some went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the War of Independence. However, these strong lines endured as Scottish families in the United States and Canada have rediscovered much of the heritage that was taken from them centuries ago. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Byars, or a variant listed above:

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. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  2. 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.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Byars Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Byars 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 14 March 2014 at 18:58.

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