Recorded as de Blare, Blare, Blayr, and the more popular Blair, this famous Scottish surname is locational. It probably originates from Blair House in Ayrshire, although the area of Mount Blair in the former county of Forfarshire in the far North East is also a possibility, as are the various Blair villages in Perthshire and Dunfermline. In all cases the derivation is from the pre 9th century Gaelic word "blar", meaning a field or plain but more specifically a battlefield! The surname is well recorded in the records of Scotland from the early 13th century with examples including Brice de Blar and Alexander del Blair who witnessed an agreement between the burgh of Irvine and Brice de Eglunstone in 1205. The the recording of one William of Blare who witnessed a charter by Malcolm, seventh Earl of Fife, is probably Sir William de Blar, the seneschal of Fife, recorded in 1235. Thomas of Blayr, given as being a merchant of Rodyok, had a safe conduct pass to travel to England in 1460. The surname is also very numerous in the province of Ulster, Ireland. Among the many recordings of the surname from in the early surviving church registers is that of the marriage of Bryce Blair and Jonet Mowatt on April 1st 1669, at Edinburgh, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen de Blare, which was dated 1204 - 1211, a charter witness, during the reign of King William "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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