The Keir surname is a habitational name, taken on from the place name, in Stirlingshire.
Early Origins of the Keir family
The surname Keir was first found in on the marches of Westere Fedale in 1242, where Patrick Ker was a juror.
Early History of the Keir family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keir research.Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1366, and 1462 are included under the topic Early Keir History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keir Spelling Variations
Scottish surnames are distinguished by a multitude of spelling variations
because, over the centuries, the names were frequently translated into and from Gaelic. Furthermore, the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent because medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. The different versions of a surname, such as the inclusion of the patronymic
prefix "Mac", frequently indicated a religious or Clan
affiliation or even a division of the family. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into Scotland
, accelerating accentuating the alterations to various surnames. The name Keir has also been spelled Keir, Kier and others.
Early Notables of the Keir family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Keir Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keir family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Keir, or a variant listed above:
Keir Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Reid Moses Keir, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1820 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
Keir Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Daniel Keir, aged 30, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Melbourne"
Keir Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Adam Keir, who landed in Rangitikei, New Zealand in 1840
- Thomas Keir, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
- Elizabeth Keir, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1870
- Christina Keir, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883
Contemporary Notables of the name Keir (post 1700)
- Leitch Keir (1861-1922), Scottish footballer
- Colin Keir (b. 1959), Scottish politician, Member of the Scottish Parliament
- Nick Keir (b. 1953), Scottish musician, best known for his work with The McCalmans
- Andrew Keir (1926-1997), Scottish actor, best known for his starring role as Professor Bernard Quatermass in Hammer's film version of Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
- James Keir (1735-1820), Scottish chemist, geologist, industrialist and inventor
- David Keir (1884-1971), British film actor
- Lieutenant General Sir John Keir (1856-1937), British Army officer during the Boer War and World War I
- Jack Keir, Canadian politician, MLA for Fundy-River Valley, New Brunswick (2006-2010)
- Sir David Lindsay Keir (1895-1973), British historian, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast (1939-1949), Master of Balliol College, Oxford (1949-1965)
- James Keir Hardie Sr. (1856-1915), Scottish socialist and Leader of the Labour Party (1906-1908)