Kairney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The chronicles of the Kairney family reach back into Scottish history to an ancient tribe known as the Picts. The ancestors of the Kairney family lived on the lands of Cardney in Perthshire.

Early Origins of the Kairney family

The surname Kairney was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland.

Cairnie is a parish in Aberdeenshire. "This place once formed part of the lordship of Strathbogie, which was granted to Sir Adam Gordon, by King Robert Bruce, after the defeat and attainder of Cumin, Earl of Badenoch, and was the original estate of the family of Gordon, whose property, since that period, has become very greatly extended." [1]

Early History of the Kairney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kairney research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1320 and 1546 are included under the topic Early Kairney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kairney Spelling Variations

When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. Kairney has been written Cairney, Cairnie, Cardney, Cairnie and others.

Early Notables of the Kairney family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Kairney family

The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Kairney: John Cairney arrived in New York in 1836.



The Kairney 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: Ad alta
Motto Translation: To high things.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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