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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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

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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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.

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.


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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.

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Another 71 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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.

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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
  • 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


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


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  • Francis Preston Blair (1791-1876), American journalist and politician, Union Army general during the American Civil War
  • Linda Denise Blair (b. 1959), American actress best known for her role as the possessed child, Regan, in the 1973 acclaimed blockbuster The Exorcist
  • Dennis Cutler Blair (b. 1947), former United States Director of National Intelligence and retired United States Navy admiral
  • John Blair Jr. (1732-1800), American politician, American Founding Father and jurist
  • William Allen "Willie" Blair (b. 1965), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher
  • 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
  • David Blair (1967-2011), known as Blair, an American musician and poet
  • Robert Blair (1834-1859), Scottish soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross for deeds in India in 1857
  • Robert Blair (1699-1746), Scottish poet and preacher
  • Michael Robert Leighton "Mike" Blair (b. 1981), Scottish rugby union footballer

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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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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. 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.
  3. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  4. 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.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  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 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 21 April 2015 at 11:05.

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