Mair History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Mair is from the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was given to a person who was a person who held the office of mayor. The surname was originally derived from the Old English word maire, which referred to the officer who was in charge of executing summonses and other legal matters. Therefore, the original bearer of the surname Mair held the office of Mayor. [1]

Early Origins of the Mair family

The surname Mair was first found in Cheshire at Mere, a township, in the parish of Rosthern, union of Altrincham, hundred of Bucklow. The place name dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was first listed as Mera. [2] Literally, the place name means "(place at) the pool or lake," from the Old English word "mere." [3] Alternatively, the surname could have originated at Mere in Wiltshire, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Mere. This parish was listed in the Domesday Book, but with the current spelling of Mere. [2] In this case, "the name of this place is derived from the Saxon word Mæra, signifying bounds or limits, and indicates its situation on the borders of the counties of Wilts, Somerset, and Dorset. In 1253, permission was given by Henry III. to Richard, Earl of Cornwall, to build and fortify a castle on his manor of Mere, and the manor has ever since been attached to the duchy of Cornwall. " [4]

The family was listed in the Roll of Battle Abbey as companions to William the Conqueror. "The descendants of this Norman knight occupied a prominent position in Staffordshire, in the time of the early Plantagenets. William de Mere occurs as High Sheriff of that county, temp. Edward II., and in the next reign, Peter de la Mere filled the Speaker's chair in the House of Commons. At an early period, the family possessed the manor of Maer, co. Stafford, and are also found resident at Norton, in the Moors. " [5] For centuries the township of Lartington in the North Riding of Yorkshire belonged to the Maire family until the 16th century when it was passed by marriage to the Lawsons, of Brough. [4]

Early History of the Mair family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mair research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1453, 1477, 1544, 1379, 1467, 1550 and are included under the topic Early Mair History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mair Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Mair family name include Maire, Myer, Myers, Mair, Maires, Mayers, Meyers, Meire, Meir, Mere and many more.

Early Notables of the Mair family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Mair family to Ireland

Some of the Mair family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Mair migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Mair or a variant listed above:

Mair Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Mair, who settled in New York in 1774
  • Peter Mair, who settled in Maryland in 1774
  • Daniel Mair, aged 35, who arrived in New York in 1774 [6]
Mair Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Mair, aged 28, who landed in New York in 1812 [6]
  • H Mair, aged 28, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1822 [6]
  • Hugh Mair, who landed in New York in 1825 [6]
  • Andreas Mair, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1850 [6]
  • Thomas Mair, who arrived in Philadelphia, PA between 1840 and 1860

Canada Mair migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mair Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Mair, who arrived in Canada in 1820

Australia Mair migration to Australia +

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

Mair Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Mair, (b. 1812), aged 23, British Wood turner who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 7 years for theft, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 [7]
  • Thomas Mair, aged 28, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "John Bunyan" [8]

New Zealand Mair 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:

Mair Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • G Mair, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1829
  • R Mair, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1830
  • Gilbert Mair, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • Mr. David Mair, (b. 1834), aged 25, Scottish farm labourer, from Morayshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Robert Small" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th January 1860 [9]
  • Mr. Andrew Mair, (b. 1836), aged 25, British shepherd travelling from London aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th January 1862 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Mair (post 1700) +

  • Tom Mair, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 2012 [11]
  • Robert Mair, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Michigan State Senate 12th District, 1982 [11]
  • Charles R. Mair, American politician, Representative from New York 41st District, 1914 [11]
  • Rafe Mair (1931-2017), born Kenneth Rafe Mair, Canadian lawyer, political commentator and former radio personality in British Columbia, Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly for Kamloops (1975-1981)
  • Angharad Mair (b. 1960), Welsh television presenter
  • Gilbert Mair (1799-1857), Scottish-born, New Zealand sailor and a merchant trader, progenitor of the Mair family of New Zealand
  • James McKay Mair (b. 1946), Canadian retired professional ice hockey player
  • Peter Mair (1951-2011), Irish political scientist
  • Dame Sarah Elizabeth Siddons Mair DBE (1846-1941), Scottish campaigner for women's education and women's suffrage
  • David Mair (b. 1980), Italian two-time gold, silver and bronze medalist luger and skeleton racer
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  8. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 24th May 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) John Bunyan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/johnbunyan1854.shtml
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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