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Brief History of the Blair Family

The ancient family, Blair of Blair, in the shires of Renfrew, Ayr & Wigtown may or may not be related to the Blairs of Balthayock in the shires of Perth, Fife & Angus. Both are quite old in Scotland. The two competed for the chiefship for many years until James VI is said to have decreed that, "The oldest man for the time being of either family should have precedence."

The term "Blair" is the genitive of a gaelic word, "Blar" meaning field or battle field. It is used widely for both places and surnames, one of the earliest known for the former being the Barony of Blair in Ayrshire granted by King William in the mid-12th century. An example of the latter is Sir Robert de Blair, Norman Knight. Sir Bryce Blair was an adherent of Sir William Wallace but was executed by the English at the Barns of Ayr in 1296. His brother's son, Roger, was knighted by King Robert the Bruce for his services before & at Bannockburn. Blair House at Dalry, Ayrshire was occupied continuously by the family between 1202 and 1980.

While the name has been spelled 16 different ways, only 3 survive today: Blair, McBlair, Bleher. The family has some 20 Coats of Arms, 3 Tartans: Ancient, Modern, & Dress. The Clan Blair Society, raised November 1987, operates the Blair family Genealogical Lending Library & the computerized Blair Lineage Matching System for the benefit of Blairs everywhere.

Approximate Number OF Blair Families = 30,000


United States
Scotland
England/Wales
Australia
Canada
New Zeland
Northern Ireland
South Africa


22,500
2,000
2,000
1,500
600
600
500
300




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