Show ContentsBryar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bryar family

The surname Bryar was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area. "Of all the families springing from Dumfries the MacBrairs have the longest and most honourable connection, having been virtually hereditary provosts of the burgh for nigh 150 years." [1]

"The name of M'Brair," says Sir Herbert Maxwell, "contains in itself a reproach to a celibate order -Mac brathair (braher) the friar's son." [1] Another source claims the name was from the Lowland Scottish word brae, meaning 'hill'.

Other early record show: John de Byres, a monk in Neubotle, Midlothian, in 1309; and Thome de Byris owned a tenement in Edinburgh in 1392.

Early History of the Bryar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bryar research. Another 330 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1384, 1473, 1491, 1481, 1503, 1499, 1502, 1548, 1469, 1504, 1579, 1630, 1469, 1473, 1503, 1502, 1548, 1533, 1557, 1494, 1667, 1510, 1506, 1500, 1444, 1573, 1684, 1667, 1579, 1534, 1639, 1593 and 1653 are included under the topic Early Bryar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bryar Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: MacBriar, McBriar, MacBrair, McBrair, MacBraire, McBraire, MacBriare, McBriare, Briar, Brier, Brire, Briars, Briers, Brires, Braires, Brares, Braire, Brair, MacBrare, McBrare, Brare, MacBrar, McBrar, Brar, MacBrayr, McBrayr, MacBrayre, McBrayre, McBryar, MacBryar, MacBray, McBray, MacBrire, McBrire, MacBrier and many more.

Early Notables of the Bryar family (pre 1700)

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

United States Bryar migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bryar Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Bryar, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [2]
Bryar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Bryar, who landed in New York in 1797 [2]
  • John Bryar, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1799 [2]

New Zealand Bryar 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:

Bryar Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Bryar, aged 18, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874
  • Ellen Bryar, aged 34, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Bryar (post 1700) +

  • Claudia Bryar (1918-2011), American actress, best known for her role as Mrs. Emma Spool in Psycho II
  • Bob Bryar (b. 1979), American musician, best known as the drummer of the rock band My Chemical Romance (2004-2010)
  • Dick Bryar (1925-1968), Australian rules footballer who played for Essendon in 1948

  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. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook