Bilayr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

A family of Strathclyde-Briton were the first to use the name Bilayr. They lived in the village of Blair, in the county of Ayrshire.

Early Origins of the Bilayr family

The surname Bilayr 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. [1]

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. [2] 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. " [3]

Further to the south, "the Blairs, of Northumberland, are probably derived from the Blairs of Ayrshire." [4]

Important Dates for the Bilayr family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bilayr 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 Bilayr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bilayr Spelling Variations

In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Bilayr has appeared as Blair, Blayr, Blare, Blaire and others.

Early Notables of the Bilayr 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." [2] Robert Blair (1699-1746), was a Scottish poet, best known for...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bilayr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bilayr family to Ireland

Some of the Bilayr 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 Bilayr family

The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. 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.

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
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