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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Balbirnie family come from? What is the Scottish Balbirnie family crest and coat of arms? When did the Balbirnie family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Balbirnie family history?

A family in the Pictish tribe of ancient Scotland was the first to use the name Balbirnie. They lived in the lands of Balbirnie in Fife. The name is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.

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In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Balbirnie has been spelled Balbirnie, Balbirney, Ballbirnie, Ballbirney, Ballbyrnie, Bawbyrny, Baldbernie and many more.

First found in Fife, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balbirnie research. Another 193 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1260, 1483, 1508, 1622 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Balbirnie History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Balbirnie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Balbirnie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 111 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Balbirnie:

Balbirnie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Charles Balbirnie who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1827 and then moved westward

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  • Andrew Balbirnie (b. 1990), Irish right-handed batsman cricketer


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  1. 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.
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  5. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Balbirnie Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Balbirnie 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 18 November 2013 at 09:09.

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