Ayr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The origins of the Ayr surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name originated with an early member who was a person who was well-known as the heir to a title, fortune, or estate. The name is thought to be derived from the Old French eir, which is itself derived from the Latin heres, meaning "heir."
Early Origins of the Ayr family
The surname Ayr was first found in Derbyshire, where the ancestral home of the main branch of the Ayr family is thought to be located. Early written records of the name Ayr have been found in many counties, notably Derbyshire, Wiltshire, and Shropshire.
In the early legends of the Eyre family, it was recounted that a Knight named Eyre who fought with Richard the Lionheart at the Battle of Ascalon during the Crusades lost a leg while defending his King, which is why the family still bears a booted leg in its crest.
Another source, mentions that the traditional origin of the name was in circumstance of a Norman knight having at the Battle of Hastings succoured (helped) duke William of Normandy and given him air when he was in danger of suffocation. 
"The Eyres appear as witnesses to charters in the Peak of Derbyshire in the remotest period to which private charters ascend. The first of the name known is William le Eyre, of Hope, in the reign of Henry III." 
The chapel in Great Longstone, Derbyshire contains monuments to the "family of Eyre, earls of Newburgh." 
Early History of the Ayr family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ayr research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1216, 1582, 1657, 1635, 1628, 1678, 1659, 1678, 1635, 1695, 1660, 1661, 1689, 1638, 1698, 1666, 1735, 1680, 1700, 1689, 1693, 1638, 1712, 1665, 1715, 1698, 1701, 1705, 1715, 1670, 1715, 1729, 1585, 1661, 1662 and 1768 are included under the topic Early Ayr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ayr Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Ayr has been recorded under many different variations, including Eyre, Eyer, Eyers, Eayres, Eyres, Ayer, Ayers,Heyer, Ayr, Air, Aires, Hyer, Hayer, Hoyer and many more.
Early Notables of the Ayr family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include John Ayer (1582-1657), an English settler to Massachusetts sailing aboard the ship James in 1635, settling in Ipswich, Haverhill, and Salisbury, born in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Henry Eyre (1628-1678), was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1659 and 1678; Sir Giles Eyre (c. 1635-1695), was an English politician and judge, Member of Parliament for Downton (1660-1661), and Salisbury in 1689.
Sir Samuel Eyre (1638-1698), was an English judge; and his son, Sir Robert Eyre (1666-1735), an English lawyer, Solicitor-General and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
John Ayres ( fl. 1680-1700)...
Another 162 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ayr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ayr family to Ireland
Some of the Ayr family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ayr family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Ayr or a variant listed above: Eleazer Eyre, who brought his family to New Hampshire in 1620; John Ayer, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1640; Temperance Hyer, who came to Virginia in 1650.
Related Stories +
The Ayr Motto +
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: Virtus sola invicta
Motto Translation: Virtue alone is invincible.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.