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

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

The annals of Scottish history suggest that the ancestors of the name Byars lived among the Boernician tribe of the Scottish-English border region. The Byars family lived in or near the place named Byers in Scotland. The place-name, Byers, derives from the Old English word byre, which means cattle shed. Thus, Byers is of two derivations, topographical and habitational. Topographic surnames could be given to a person who lived beside any 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.


In the Middles Ages scribes spelled names by their sound. Often a name was written under a different spelling variation each time it was recorded. Byars has appeared as Byers, Byres, Byer, Buyers, Byris and others.

First found in East Lothian, where they held a family seat from ancient times. One of the first records of the name related to the place name as in David de Lindsay the younger, also called David Lindsay of the Byres (died 1279), a 13th century Scottish knight and crusader. Today, Byres Road is a famous street located in Hillhead, Glasgow.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byars research. Another 261 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1309, 1392, 1534, 1593, 1653, 1639 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Byars History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Byars family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The ancestors of Boernician-Scottish settlers dot North America even today. They settled all along the east coast when they came over, but some went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the War of Independence. However, these strong lines endured as Scottish families in the United States and Canada have rediscovered much of the heritage that was taken from them centuries ago. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Byars, or a variant listed above:

Byars Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • W.A. Byars, aged 36, who emigrated to America, in 1893

Byars Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Mrs Byars, aged 30, who settled in America from Johnston, in 1900
  • Jas Byars, aged 1, who landed in America from Johnston, in 1900
  • Malcolm Byars, aged 35, who landed in America from Kilmarnock, in 1900
  • Geo. Byars, aged 26, who landed in America from Edzell, Scotland, in 1904
  • Robt. Byars, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1905


  • Dennis Byars (b. 1940), American politician, Nebraska state senator
  • Mel Byars (b. 1938), American design historian
  • Keith Alan Byars (b. 1963), American sports broadcaster, former American NFL football player
  • Betsy Cromer Byars (b. 1928), American Edgar Award winning author of children's books
  • Derrick JaVaughn Byars (b. 1984), American professional basketball player


  • Byars Family History: With Information or Records on...Allied Lines by Nell Byars Thaten.

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  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. 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.
  8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Byars Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Byars 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 14 March 2014 at 18:58.

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