Kerstairs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Early Origins of the Kerstairs family
The surname Kerstairs 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." 
Early History of the Kerstairs family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerstairs 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 Kerstairs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kerstairs Spelling Variations
In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Kerstairs 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 Kerstairs 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 Kerstairs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kerstairs family
Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and Clan societies. Among them: Thomas Carstairs settled in Virginia in 1700.
Related Stories +
The Kerstairs 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.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.