Kairnes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Kairnes was first used as a surname in the Scottish/English Borderlands by the Strathclyde-Briton. The first Kairnes family lived in Midlothian. The name Kairnes 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 Kairnes family

The surname Kairnes 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 Kairnes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kairnes 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 Kairnes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kairnes Spelling Variations

Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. Kairnes has been spelled Cairns, Cairn, Kairnes, Carnys and others.

Early Notables of the Kairnes family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Kairnes family to Ireland

Some of the Kairnes 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 Kairnes family

Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. 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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