Cairstare History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Cairstare family

The surname Cairstare was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow.

Carstairs is a parish in the Upper ward of the county of Lanark that includes the village of Ravenstruther. "The name is most probably derived from the word Car, or Caer, signifying "a fort," and stair, or stairs, "a possession;" descriptive of an estate or possession in a fortified place." [1]

Early History of the Cairstare family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cairstare research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1170, 1259, 1450, 1536, 1649, 1715, 1703, 1716 and 1649 are included under the topic Early Cairstare History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cairstare 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. Cairstare has appeared as Carstair, Carstairs, Kerstairs, Kerstair, Carstare, Carstares, Cairstare, Cairstares, Carrstairs, Carrstare, Carrstarr, Carstarr, Carstarrs, Carrstarrs, Kerrstarr and many more.

Early Notables of the Cairstare family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was William Carstares (Carstaires) (1649-1715), Scottish minister of the Church of Scotland, Principal of Edinburgh University (1703-1716.) "He was the eldest of nine children of John Carstares, minister of Cathcart, near Glasgow, where William was born on 11 Feb. 1649, and Janet Mure of Glanderston, a branch of the Mures of Caldwell. His father, who had been at the battle of Dunbar, where he was taken prisoner by Cromwell, was exchanged...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cairstare Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cairstare 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: Thomas Carstairs settled in Virginia in 1700.



The Cairstare 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: Te splendente
Motto Translation: Whilst thou art shining.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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