Curnes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Curnes was first used by the ancient Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The first Curnes to use this name no doubt lived in Midlothian. The name Curnes is also derived from the Gaelic word carn, which means pile of stones, and referred to the stone burial chambers we now call cairns. [1]

Early Origins of the Curnes family

The surname Curnes was first found in Midlothian, in the lands of Cairns in the parish of Mid-Calder.

"The first of the name recorded is William de Carnys, who appears as a charter witness in 1349. Though this is the earliest mention of the name in record there must have been many of the surname living at an earlier date, as in the latter half of the fourteenth century many individuals of the name are mentioned in documents referring to the adjoining counties of Midlothian and West Lothian. In 1363 William de Carnys and his son, Duncan de Carnys, had a charter of the baronies of Esterquytburne and Westirquitburne from David II. Two years later David de Carnys appears as a bailie of Edinburgh." [2]

Early History of the Curnes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Curnes research. Another 271 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1372, 1386, 1395, 1406, 1431, 1455, 1401, 1408, 1418, 1430, 1452, 1454, 1503, 1572, 1639, 1665, 1732, 1673, 1743, 1669, 1707, 1703, 1707 and are included under the topic Early Curnes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Curnes Spelling Variations

Scribes in Medieval Scotland spelled names by sound rather than any set of rules, so an enormous number of spelling variations exist in names of that era. Curnes has been spelled Cairns, Cairn, Kairnes, Carnys and others.

Early Notables of the Curnes family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Curnes family to Ireland

Some of the Curnes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 127 words (9 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 Curnes family

The number of Strathclyde Clan families sailing for North America increased steadily as the persecution continued. In the colonies, they could find not only freedom from the iron hand of the English government, but land to settle on. The American War of Independence allowed many of these settlers to prove their independence, while some chose to go to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots played essential roles in the forging of both great nations. Among them: John Cairns settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775; Michael Cairns followed in 1799; Andrew in 1830; John in 1840; Robert in 1864.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ 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)


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