Ayres History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Ayres was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by an ancient Scottish people called the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for someone who lived in the city of Ayr in South-Western Scotland.

Early Origins of the Ayres family

The surname Ayres was 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, where the family has held a family seat from ancient times. One of the first on record was Reginald Ayr, who was Clerk of Ayr in 1287 and Albinus Ayr had a charter of lands from King Robert the Bruce in 1315.

Early History of the Ayres family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ayres research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1522, 1567, 1638 and 1712 are included under the topic Early Ayres History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ayres Spelling Variations

The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Ayres has been spelled Ayer, Air, Ayre, Ayers and others.

Early Notables of the Ayres family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Ayres Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ayres Ranking

In the United States, the name Ayres is the 2,833rd most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [1] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Ayres is ranked the 946th most popular surname with an estimated 7,358 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Ayres family to Ireland

Some of the Ayres family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ayres migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were:

Ayres Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Miss Amy Ayres, (b. 1898), aged 5, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 20th June 1903 en route to Butte City, Montana, USA [3]
  • Mrs. Beatrice Ayres, (b. 1878), aged 25, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 20th June 1903 en route to Butte City, Montana, USA [3]
  • Mr. Willie Ayres, (b. 1901), aged 1 year 11 months, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 20th June 1903 en route to Butte City, Montana, USA [3]

Australia Ayres migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ayres Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Ayres, British Convict who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 6th April 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Robert Ayres, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. William Ayres, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Duncan" on 10th December 1840, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Ayres, (b. 1838), aged 12, English farm labourer who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 7 years for house breaking, transported aboard the ""Blenheim"" on 24th July 1850, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island, Australia [7]
  • Miss Elizabeth Ayres, English laundress who was convicted in Devonport, Plymouth, England for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Duchess of Northumberland" on 25th November 1852, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Ayres migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ayres Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Rebecca Ayres, (b. 1858), aged infant, English settler from Turvey travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [9]
  • Mr. Thomas Ayres, (b. 1817), aged 41, English bricklayer from Turvey travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [9]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Ayres, (b. 1819), aged 39, English settler from Turvey travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [9]
  • Mr. Samuel Ayres, (b. 1846), aged 12, English settler from Turvey travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [9]
  • Miss Sarah Ayres, (b. 1851), aged 7, English settler from Turvey travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ayres (post 1700) +

  • Christopher Owen Ayres (1965-2021), American stage actor, voice actor, stage director, ADR director, fight choreographer and scriptwriter who worked on a number of Japanese anime series at Funimation, OkraTron 5000
  • Robert Ayres (1914-1968), American film, stage and television actor
  • Robert Underwood Ayres (b. 1932), American-born physicist and economist
  • Ian Ayres (b. 1959), American professor at Yale Law School and Yale School of Management
  • Lewis Frederick "Lew" Ayres III (1908-1996), American actor, best known for starring as Paul in All Quiet on the Western Front
  • William Orville Ayres (1817-1887), American physician and ichthyologist
  • Leonard Porter Ayres (1879-1946), American statistician
  • Agnes Ayres (1898-1940), American silent film actor
  • Romeyn B. Ayres (1825-1888), Union general in the American Civil War
  • Benjamin Ayres, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Cumberland County, 1850-51 [10]
  • ... (Another 38 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Henry D Ayres (b. 1901), English Ordinary Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from West Ham, Essex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Charles Ayres, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [12]


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duncan
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duchess-of-northumberland
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  12. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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