Billayr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The roots of the name Billayr are found among the Strathclyde-Briton people of the ancient Scottish/English Borderlands. Billayr was originally found in the village of Blair, in the county of Ayrshire.
"The Blairs 'of that ilk' in Ayrshire, have been seated in that co. for more than 600 years. They claim the chief-ship of all the Blairs in the South and West of Scotland, though that honour is challenged by the Blairs of Balthayock, co. Perth, who date back to the beginning of the XIII. " 
Early Origins of the Billayr family
The surname Billayr 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. Alexander de Blare witnessed a charter by Fergus, earl of Buchan before 1214, and also a charter by Randulf de Strethphetham. William of Blare who witnessed a charter by Malcolm, seventh earl of Fife, is probably Sir William de Blar, seneschal of Fife, 1235. David de Blare of Perthshire rendered homage in 1296 to King Edward I of England. 
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.
Further to the south in England, "the Blairs, of Northumberland, are probably derived from the Blairs of Ayrshire." 
Early History of the Billayr family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billayr 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 Billayr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Billayr 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. Billayr has appeared as Blair, Blayr, Blare, Blaire and others.
Early Notables of the Billayr 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 Billayr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Billayr family to Ireland
Some of the Billayr 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 Billayr 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.
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
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ 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
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.