Bélair History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
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.
Some of the earliest recorded instances of this Clan name include 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.
William of Blare witnessed a charter by Malcolm, 7th Earl of Fife. He 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 but was eventually taken prisoner, and executed at Ayr. 
John Blair ( fl. 1300), was chaplain of Sir William Wallace, a native of Fife, and is said to have been educated at Dundee in the same school with Wallace.  He 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.
"The Blairs 'of that ilk' in Ayrshire, have been seated in that county for more than 600 years. " 
Further to the south, "the Blairs, of Northumberland, are probably derived from the Blairs of Ayrshire." 
Early History of the Bélair family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bélair research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1699, 1746, 1650, 1593, 1666, 1634, 1646, 1699, 1746, 1743, 1656, 1743, 1656, 1679 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)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Robert Blair (1593-1666) a Scottish Nonconformist divine, excommunicated in 1634, but later became Moderator of the General Assembly in 1646. "His father was a merchant-adventurer, John Blair of Windyedge, a younger brother of the ancient family of Blair of that ilk; his mother was Beatrix Muir (of the house of Rowallan), who lived for nearly a century." 
Robert Blair (1699-1746), was a Scottish poet, best known for...
Another 74 words (5 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 60 words (4 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 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 
- Alexandre Pierre Julienne de Bélair, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 
- Suzanne Bélair (1781-1805), Haitian Freedom fighter and revolutionary
- Réginald Bélair (b. 1949), Canadian politician, Member of Parliament for Cochrane-Superior (1988-1997)
Related Stories +
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
- ^ 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)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ 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
- ^ 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