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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.

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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.


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlanti c. 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
  • John Blair settled in New Hampshire in 1718
  • Abraham Blair, who landed in New England in 1718
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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
  • Margaret 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
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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
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Blair Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Buchanan Blair, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • John Blair, who landed in Canada in 1821
  • Robert Blair, aged 26, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
  • Rebecca Blair, aged 24, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
  • Isabella Ann Blair, aged 6, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
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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"
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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
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  • 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
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Blair Historic Events



HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Cyril Tom Blair, British Lieutenant "E", who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking
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  • The Blair Memorial by Robert H. Blair.
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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: Amo probos
Motto Translation: I love the virtuous

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Blair Clan Badge
Blair Clan Badge

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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...

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    4. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    6. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
    7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
    8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    9. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
    10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    11. ...

    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 8 June 2016 at 19:09.

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