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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.

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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 Gaeli c. 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.


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Adair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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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

  • Thomas Adair, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1730
  • William Adair, who arrived in New York in 1739
  • William Adair, who landed in New York, NY in 1740
  • William Adair, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745
  • William Adair, who landed in America in 1754
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Adair Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Adair, who arrived in South Carolina in 1807
  • Edward Adair, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1807
  • William Adair, aged 35, landed in New York in 1812
  • John Adair, who arrived in South Carolina in 1814
  • William Adair, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
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Adair Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Henderson Adair, who arrived in Arkansas in 1902

Adair Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

Adair Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Adair, aged 40, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834

Adair Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Henry Adair arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Winterthur" in 1866
  • Walter Adair, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
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  • Robert Kemp Adair (b. 1924), American physicist and Sterling Professor Emeritus of physics at Yale University
  • Paul Neal "Red" Adair (1915-2004), renowned American oil field firefighter, the 1968 John Wayne movie "Hellfighters" was based upon the feats of Adair during the 1962 Sahara Desert fire
  • Hazel Adair (1920-2015), British soap opera writer and creator for radio and television, best known for co-creating Crossroads
  • Sir Frederick Edward Shafto Adair (1860-1915), 4th Baronet of Flixton Hall, English peer
  • Sir Robert Shafto Adair (1862-1949), 5th Baronet of Flixton Hall, English peer
  • Sir Hugh Edward Adair (1815-1902), 3rd Baronet of Flixton Hall, Member of Parliament for Ipswich (1847-1874)
  • Robert Alexander Shafto Adair (1811-1886), 1st Baron Waveney, English peer
  • Sir Robert Alexander Shafto Adair (1811-1886), 2nd Baronet, English peer
  • Sir Robert Shafto Adair (1786-1869), 1st Baronet of Flixton Hall, English peer
  • John Ronald Shafto Adair (1893-1960), Australian aviator and businessman
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  • The Descendants of James Adair by Miriam Dabbs Adair.
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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: Loyal au mort
Motto Translation: Faithful unto death.

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Adair Armorial History With Coat of ArmsAdair Armorial History With Coat of Arms
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    2. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
    3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    4. 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.
    5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
    9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    10. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
    11. ...

    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 23 May 2016 at 20:09.

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