An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
One of the most common classes of Scottish surnames is the patronymic surname, which arose out of the vernacular and religious naming traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Patronymic surnames of this type were usually derived from the personal name of the original bearer's father. The surname Adair is derived from the given name Edgar, which means prosperity.
The surname Adair was first found in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway). Tradition has it that the foundation of the family of Adair of Dunskey and Kinhilt originated from a fugitive son of Fitzgerald, Earl Desmond of Adair in Ireland. Desmond was descended from Otto Geraldino, a Norman noble who accompanied William, Duke of Normandy into England in 1066. He also accompanied Strongbow into Ireland in 1172, and became Earl of Desmond. He settled in Kirkcudbright and Wigtown.
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 Adair has also been spelled Adair, Odeir, Edzear, Edgar, Adare and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Adair research. Another 47 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1655, 1722, 1688, 1614, 1625, 1694, 1641, 1622, 1630, 1630, 1640, 1641, 1647 and are included under the topic Early Adair History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Adair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Adair family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 305 words (22 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Adair, or a variant listed above:
Adair Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Adair Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Adair Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Adair Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Adair Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Adair Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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: Loyal au mort
Motto Translation: Faithful unto death.
The Adair Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Adair 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 2 February 2016 at 16:45.