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

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

The roots of the Byers family are in the Boernician tribe of ancient Scotland. The Byers 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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Boernician names that evolved in the largely preliterate Middle Ages are often marked by considerable spelling variations. Byers 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 Byers 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 Byers History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Byers 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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Some of the Boernician-Scottish Clan families who came to North America were Loyalists who went north to Canada after the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border went on to found two of the world's great nations. This century, families with Scottish roots have rediscovered their heritage through highland games and clan societies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Byers or a variant listed above:

Byers Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Will Byers settled in Georgia in 1734

Byers Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William Byers, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Robert Byers, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
  • C. Byers settled in Baltimore in 1822
  • David D Byers, who landed in New York, NY in 1830
  • John Byers, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1848


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  • Lieutenant-General Clovis Ethelbert Byers (1899-1973), American Commandant of NATO Defense College Paris (1955-1957)
  • James Byers, American shipowner, merchant and sealer from New York who sent a four-vessel sealing fleet to the South Shetland Islands in 1820-21, eponym of Byers Peninsula on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands
  • Eben McBurney Byers (1880-1932), wealthy American socialite, athlete, and industrialist who won the 1906 U.S. Amateur who died from multiple radiation-induced cancers after consuming a popular patent medicine made from radium
  • Horace Robert Byers (1906-1998), American meteorologist who pioneered in aviation meteorology
  • John Winford Byers (1875-1966), American architect who worked almost exclusively in Santa Monica, California
  • Nina Byers (b. 1930), AMerican theoretical physicist, Research Professor and Professor of Physics emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA
  • Verne Byers (1918-2008), born Vincent LeRoy Beyer,an American bandleader and promoter, known for having brought The Beatles to Denver
  • Stephen John Byers (b. 1953), British politician, Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (2001-2002), Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1998-2001), Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1998)
  • Joseph Austen Byers, Canadian judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia
  • Charles Frank Byers OBE, PC, DL (1915-1984), English politician, Baron Byers, British Liberal House Leader, House of Lords

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  • Bynum and Baynham Families of America 1616-1850 by William Baird.
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  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. 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. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  10. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Byers Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Byers 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 15 April 2014 at 12:35.

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