Kerstair History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Kerstair family

The surname Kerstair was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow.

Carstairs is a parish in the Upper ward of the county of Lanark that includes the village of Ravenstruther. "The name is most probably derived from the word Car, or Caer, signifying "a fort," and stair, or stairs, "a possession;" descriptive of an estate or possession in a fortified place." [1]

Early History of the Kerstair family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerstair research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1170, 1259, 1450, 1536, 1649, 1715, 1703, 1716 and 1649 are included under the topic Early Kerstair History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kerstair Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Kerstair has been spelled Carstair, Carstairs, Kerstairs, Kerstair, Carstare, Carstares, Cairstare, Cairstares, Carrstairs, Carrstare, Carrstarr, Carstarr, Carstarrs, Carrstarrs, Kerrstarr and many more.

Early Notables of the Kerstair family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was William Carstares (Carstaires) (1649-1715), Scottish minister of the Church of Scotland, Principal of Edinburgh University (1703-1716.) "He was the eldest of nine children of John Carstares, minister of Cathcart, near Glasgow, where William was born on 11 Feb. 1649, and Janet Mure of Glanderston, a branch of the Mures of Caldwell. His father, who had been at the battle of Dunbar, where he was taken prisoner by Cromwell, was exchanged...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerstair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kerstair family

Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them: Thomas Carstairs settled in Virginia in 1700.



The Kerstair 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: Te splendente
Motto Translation: Whilst thou art shining.


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


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