This is a famous Scottish clan surname. Spelt as Dewar, Deware, Dewer, and the extraordinary Dewire, it derives from two possible sources. Firstly, it may be an occupational name for a custodian of holy relics, from the Gaelic "deoradh", a pilgrim a person who had custody of the relic of a saint. An old family of this name in Perthshire were for centuries keepers of the crozier-head of St. Fillan, which after travelling to Canada is now preserved in the Scottish National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh. The second origin is from the village of Dewar, in the parish of Heriot, Midlothian. This derives from the Gaelic words "dubh", meaning black, and "ard", a height. Early recordings include Pieres de Dewere of Edinburghshire, who rendered homage to the Scottish government in the year 1296, whilst church registers record that Robert Dewar was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on July 29th 1627, Hester Dewyer at St. Mary at Hill, also London, on June 13th 1637 whilst later on November 14th 1836, John Dewire was a witness at St Leonards church, Shoreditch, London. James Dewar (1793 - 1846) was the organist at St. George's Episcopal church, Edinburgh, and conducted the Edinburgh Musical Association. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Deware of Edinburghshire, which was dated 1296, in the calendar of documents relating to Scotland, during the reign of John Balliol, 1292 - 1296. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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