Bilair History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
An ancient Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first to use the name Bilair. They lived in the village of Blair, in the county of Ayrshire.
Early Origins of the Bilair family
The surname Bilair 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.
Some of the earliest recorded instances of this Clan name include Stephen de Blare, who was a recorded witness of a document about the monastery of Arbroath between 1204 and 1211, and of Brice de Blair and Alexander del Blair, who witnessed an agreement between the burgh of Irvine and Brice de Eglustone in 1205.
William of Blare witnessed a charter by Malcolm, 7th Earl of Fife. He is probably the same man as Sir William de Blar, who was Seneschal of Fife in 1235. His son, Sir Bryce Blair, was known as "the gallant knight." He fought with Sir William Wallace but was eventually taken prisoner, and executed at Ayr. 
John Blair ( fl. 1300), was chaplain of Sir William Wallace, a native of Fife, and is said to have been educated at Dundee in the same school with Wallace.  He wrote an account of the travels and adventures, which is said to be the source for the famed verse written in the late 1400s, Schir William Wallace by Blind Harry.
"The Blairs 'of that ilk' in Ayrshire, have been seated in that county for more than 600 years. " 
Further to the south, "the Blairs, of Northumberland, are probably derived from the Blairs of Ayrshire." 
Early History of the Bilair family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bilair research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1699, 1746, 1650, 1593, 1666, 1634, 1646, 1699, 1746, 1743, 1656, 1743, 1656, 1679 and are included under the topic Early Bilair History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bilair Spelling Variations
Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Bilair has been spelled Blair, Blayr, Blare, Blaire and others.
Early Notables of the Bilair family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Robert Blair (1593-1666) a Scottish Nonconformist divine, excommunicated in 1634, but later became Moderator of the General Assembly in 1646. "His father was a merchant-adventurer, John Blair of Windyedge, a younger brother of the ancient family of Blair of that ilk; his mother was Beatrix Muir (of the house of Rowallan), who lived for nearly a century." 
Robert Blair (1699-1746), was a Scottish poet, best known for...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bilair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bilair family to Ireland
Some of the Bilair family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 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 Bilair family
For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them: Alexander Blair who settled in New England in 1718; James Blair settled in Virginia in 1775; John Blair settled in New Hampshire in 1718; Bryce Blair settled in Charles Town in 1773.
Related Stories +
The Bilair 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: Amo probos
Motto Translation: I love the virtuous
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.