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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Blair was first used as a surname in the Scottish/English Borderlands by the Strathclyde-Briton. The first Blair family lived in the village of Blair,
in the county of Ayrshire.
The surname Blair 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
, One of the earliest recorded instances of this Clan
name are of Stephen de Blare, who was a recorded witness of a document about the monastery of Arbroath between 1204 and 1211, and of Brice de Blair and Alexander del Blair, who witnessed an agreement between the burgh of Irvine and Brice de Eglustone in 1205. The aforementioned William Blare is probably the same man as Sir William de Blar, who was Seneschal of Fife
in 1235. His son, Sir Bryce Blair,was known as "the gallant knight." He fought with Sir William Wallace and was eventually taken prisoner, and executed at Ayr. In another connection to Wallace, John Blair was chaplain to William Wallace, and wrote an account of the travels and adventures, which is said to be the source for the famed verse written in the late 1400s, Schir William Wallace by Blind Harry.
Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. Blair has been spelled Blair, Blayr, Blare, Blaire and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blair research. Another 239 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1699, 1746, 1650, 1593, 1666, 1634, 1646, 1699, 1746 and 1743 are included under the topic Early Blair History in all our PDF Extended History products
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
Some of the Blair family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland
is included in all our PDF Extended History products
Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence
. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan
societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them:
Blair Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Dugall Blair, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
- Sohn Blair, who arrived in West Indies in 1702
- Alexander Blair who settled in New England in 1718
- Abraham Blair, who landed in New England in 1718
Blair Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Archibald Blair, who arrived in Richmond, Va in 1800
- James Blair, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803
- Margt Blair, who arrived in America in 1804
- William Blair, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1809
- Samuel Blair, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
Blair Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mathew Blair was a member of the grand jury at St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1780
- Mr. David Blair U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783
- Mrs. Elizabeth Blair U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
- Mr. George Blair U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783
- Mr. James Blair U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783
Blair Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Buchanan Blair, aged 22, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
- Buchanan Blair, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John NB aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
- Robert Blair, aged 26, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
- Rebecca Blair, aged 24, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
- Isabella Ann Blair, aged 6, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
Blair Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Robert Blair, aged 19, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Emily"
- Elizabeth Blair, aged 23, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Emily"
- Jane Blair, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Emily"
- Elizabeth Blair arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Emily" in 1849
- Sarah Blair, aged 28, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "James Fernie"
Blair Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Joseph Blair, aged 43, a miner, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in 1864
- Agnes Blair, aged 30, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in 1864
- Barbara Blair, aged 15, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in 1864
- Margaret Blair, aged 7, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in 1864
- Agnes Blair, aged 5, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in 1864
- William McCormick Blair (1884-1982), American financier, father of William McCormick Blair
- William McCormick Blair Jr. (1916-2015), American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Denmark (1961 to 1964) and United States Ambassador to the Philippines (1964 to 1967)
- David Blair (1967-2011), known as Blair, an American musician and poet
- Eugene Blair (1908-1942), United States Navy Chief Machinist's Mate of World War II, eponym of the USS Blair (DE-147), an Edsall-class destroyer escort
- William Allen "Willie" Blair (b. 1965), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher
- John Blair Jr. (1732-1800), American politician, American Founding Father and jurist
- Linda Denise Blair (b. 1959), American actress best known for her role as the possessed child, Regan, in the 1973 acclaimed blockbuster The Exorcist
- Francis Preston Blair (1791-1876), American journalist and politician, Union Army general during the American Civil War
- Dennis Cutler Blair (b. 1947), former United States Director of National Intelligence and retired United States Navy admiral
- James Blair (1656-1743), Scottish Episcopalian clergyman, missionary, and educator, best known as the founder of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia
- The Blair Memorial by Robert H. Blair.
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:
Amo probosMotto Translation:
I love the virtuous
|Blair Clan Badge|
A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system... More
- Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
- 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.
- Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
- 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.
- 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).
- Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
- Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
- Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
- Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
- Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
The Blair Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Blair 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 6 April 2016 at 13:18.
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