Keir History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Keir surname is a habitational name, taken on from the place name, in Stirlingshire.

Early Origins of the Keir family

The surname Keir was first found in on the marches of Westere Fedale in 1242, where Patrick Ker was a juror.

Important Dates for the Keir family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keir research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1366, and 1462 are included under the topic Early Keir History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keir Spelling Variations

Scottish surnames are distinguished by a multitude of spelling variations because, over the centuries, the names were frequently translated into and from Gaelic. Furthermore, the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent because medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. The different versions of a surname, such as the inclusion of the patronymic prefix "Mac", frequently indicated a religious or Clan affiliation or even a division of the family. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into Scotland, accelerating accentuating the alterations to various surnames. The name Keir has also been spelled Keir, Kier and others.

Early Notables of the Keir family (pre 1700)

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

Keir migration to the United States

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Keir, or a variant listed above:

Keir Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Reid Moses Keir, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1820 [1]

Keir migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Keir Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Keir, aged 30, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Melbourne"

Keir migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Keir Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Adam Keir, who landed in Rangitikei, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Keir, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. Peter Keir, (b. 1815), aged 48, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [2]
  • Mrs. Isabella Keir, (b. 1829), aged 34, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [2]
  • Mr. Thomas Keir, (b. 1839), aged 24, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Keir (post 1700)

  • Leitch Keir (1861-1922), Scottish footballer
  • Colin Keir (b. 1959), Scottish politician, Member of the Scottish Parliament
  • Nick Keir (b. 1953), Scottish musician, best known for his work with The McCalmans
  • Andrew Keir (1926-1997), Scottish actor, best known for his starring role as Professor Bernard Quatermass in Hammer's film version of Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
  • James Keir (1735-1820), Scottish chemist, geologist, industrialist and inventor
  • David Keir (1884-1971), British film actor
  • Lieutenant General Sir John Keir (1856-1937), British Army officer during the Boer War and World War I
  • Jack Keir, Canadian politician, MLA for Fundy-River Valley, New Brunswick (2006-2010)
  • Sir David Lindsay Keir (1895-1973), British historian, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast (1939-1949), Master of Balliol College, Oxford (1949-1965)
  • James Keir Hardie Sr. (1856-1915), Scottish socialist and Leader of the Labour Party (1906-1908)

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
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