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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Ayres. It was a name for someone who lived in the city of Ayr in South-Western Scotland.

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The surname Ayres was 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.

Scribes in Medieval Scotland spelled names by sound rather than any set of rules, so an enormous number of spelling variations exist in names of that era. Ayres has been spelled Ayer, Air, Ayre, Ayers and others.


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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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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ayres Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Robert Ayres, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Ayres, aged 20, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Switzerland"

Ayres Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Charles Ayres, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Golden Sea" in 1874
  • Richard Ayres arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maraval" in 1880
  • Florence B. Ayres, aged 19, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884

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  • Robert Ayres (1914-1968), American film, stage and television actor
  • Robert Underwood Ayres (b. 1932), American-born physicist and economist
  • Ian Ayres (b. 1959), American professor at Yale Law School and Yale School of Management
  • Benjamin Ayres, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Cumberland County, 1850-51
  • Albro Charles Ayres (1907-1981), American Republican politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives, 1951-56
  • Albert Douglass Ayres (1874-1944), American Republican politician, Member of Nevada State House of Representatives, 1911-13
  • Daniel Ayres, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Essex County, 1867
  • David Ayres, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Essex County, 1859, 1866
  • E. S. Ayres (d. 1866), American politician, Mayor of Owensboro, Kentucky, 1866
  • Ebenezer Ayres, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives, 1867, 1872

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  6. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 20 February 2016 at 10:17.

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