Heir History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Heir. It was given to a person who was well-known as the heir to a title, fortune, or estate. The name is thought to be derived from the Old French eir, which is itself derived from the Latin heres, meaning "heir."
Early Origins of the Heir family
The surname Heir was first found in Derbyshire, where the ancestral home of the main branch of the Heir family is thought to be located. Early written records of the name Heir have been found in many counties, notably Derbyshire, Wiltshire, and Shropshire.
In the early legends of the Eyre family, it was recounted that a Knight named Eyre who fought with Richard the Lionheart at the Battle of Ascalon during the Crusades lost a leg while defending his King, which is why the family still bears a booted leg in its crest.
Another source, mentions that the traditional origin of the name was in circumstance of a Norman knight having at the Battle of Hastings succoured (helped) duke William of Normandy and given him air when he was in danger of suffocation. 
"The Eyres appear as witnesses to charters in the Peak of Derbyshire in the remotest period to which private charters ascend. The first of the name known is William le Eyre, of Hope, in the reign of Henry III." 
The chapel in Great Longstone, Derbyshire contains monuments to the "family of Eyre, earls of Newburgh." 
Early History of the Heir family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heir research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1216, 1582, 1657, 1635, 1628, 1678, 1659, 1678, 1635, 1695, 1660, 1661, 1689, 1638, 1698, 1666, 1735, 1680, 1700, 1689, 1693, 1638, 1712, 1665, 1715, 1698, 1701, 1705, 1715, 1670, 1715, 1729, 1585, 1661, 1662 and 1768 are included under the topic Early Heir History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heir Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Heir has appeared include Eyre, Eyer, Eyers, Eayres, Eyres, Ayer, Ayers,Heyer, Ayr, Air, Aires, Hyer, Hayer, Hoyer and many more.
Early Notables of the Heir family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include John Ayer (1582-1657), an English settler to Massachusetts sailing aboard the ship James in 1635, settling in Ipswich, Haverhill, and Salisbury, born in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Henry Eyre (1628-1678), was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1659 and 1678; Sir Giles Eyre (c. 1635-1695), was an English politician and judge, Member of Parliament for Downton (1660-1661), and Salisbury in 1689.
Sir Samuel Eyre (1638-1698), was an English judge; and his son, Sir Robert Eyre (1666-1735), an English lawyer, Solicitor-General and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
John Ayres ( fl. 1680-1700)...
Another 162 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heir Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Heir family to Ireland
Some of the Heir family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heir migration to the United States +
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Heir arrived in North America very early:
Heir Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Johannes Heir, aged 26, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 
- John Valentine Heir, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1791 
Related Stories +
The Heir 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: Virtus sola invicta
Motto Translation: Virtue alone is invincible.
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)