The ancient Scottish name Bélair was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the name lived in the village of Blair,
in the county of Ayrshire.
Early Origins of the Bélair family
The surname Bélair 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
, One of the earliest recorded instances of this Clan
name are of 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.
The aforementioned William Blare 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 and was eventually taken prisoner, and executed at Ayr.
"The Blairs "of that ilk" in Ayrshire, have been seated in that county for more than 600 years. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
In another connection to Wallace, John Blair was chaplain to William Wallace, and 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, "the Blairs, of Northumberland, are probably derived from the Blairs of Ayrshire." CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
Early History of the Bélair family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bélair research.Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1699, 1746, 1650, 1593, 1666, 1634, 1646, 1699, 1746, 1743 and are included under the topic Early Bélair History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bélair Spelling Variations
The many spelling variations
in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Bélair has been spelled Blair, Blayr, Blare, Blaire and others.
Early Notables of the Bélair family (pre 1700)
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bélair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bélair family to Ireland
Some of the Bélair family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 215 words (15 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 Bélair family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland
, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan
organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were: 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.
Contemporary Notables of the name Bélair (post 1700)
- Antoine Alexandre Julienne de Bélair, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 CITATION[CLOSE]
Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Antoine Bélair. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
- Alexandre Pierre Julienne de Bélair, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 CITATION[CLOSE]
Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Alexandre Bélair. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
- Suzanne Bélair (1781-1805), Haitian Freedom fighter and revolutionary
- Réginald Bélair (b. 1949), Canadian politician, Member of Parliament for Cochrane-Superior (1988-1997)
The Bélair 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: Amo probos
Motto Translation: I love the virtuous