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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Kier family come from? What is the Scottish Kier family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kier family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kier family history?

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

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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 Kier has also been spelled Keir, Kier and others.

First found in on the marches of Westere Fedale in 1242, where Patrick Ker was a juror.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kier research. Another 110 words(8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1366, and 1462 are included under the topic Early Kier History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Kier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Kier, or a variant listed above: Agnes Keir, who was transported to America in 1687; James Keir, who arrived in United States or West Indies in 1699; William Keir, who came to Boston in 1713.

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  • Samuel Martin Kier (1813-1874), American inventor and businessman, known for his work in petroleum refining, often referred to as the Grandfather of the American Oil Industry
  • Lady Miss Kier (b. 1963), stage name of Kierin Magenta Kirby, American singer and DJ
  • Lemont Kier (b. 1930), American chemist and researcher
  • David A. Kier, American politician, 9th Deputy Director of the National Reconnaissance Office(1997-2001)
  • Harley William "K.W." Kier (1891-1967), American film producer
  • Christopher Kier (b. 1959), Canadian encaustic painter
  • Udo Kier (b. 1944), German actor
  • Olaf Kier CBE (1899-1986), Danish founder of Kier Group in 1928, one of the United Kingdom's largest construction businesses


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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  10. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  11. ...

The Kier Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kier Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 June 2013 at 10:36.

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