THE NAME OF MAIR
By Robert G A Mair, Esq.
President of the Clan Mar/r Society of Australia
The name of Mair is not one of the most numerous in Scotland. The bearers of the name, however it is spelt, are members of a family that has a long and interesting history. This short article gives a brief history of the name Mair.
REF: Jamieson - History of Scotland.
The office of Mair is derived from the Gaelic 'Maor", an officer of authority, a Baron. The ancient moar-mar meant a great Baron or Earl.
REF: Black - Surnames of Scotland:
Mair was the designation of an officer called Praeco-Regis, the King's crier or herald. In the Act of 1426 the Mair is depicted as the 'King's sergeant' and entitled to bear 'horn & wand".
The first recorded possessors of land: Abraham Marus - (Mair) held land in the Garuach in the reign of William the Lion - 1100's.
REF: Great Seal of Scotland.
William Mairis held the lands of Lochouse in 1306.
Robert Le Mair witnessed a charter to the Priory of May by Eggu Ruffers early in the thirteenth century. Alexander Marus was witness in a Maude charter 1261. Symon Le Mare of Perthshire rendered homage in 1296. The Isle of Man was co-ruled by Godfrey Macmares, with two other Royal Baillies, in 1275 for the King of the Scots.
POPULATION OF THE NAME
There are some 12,000 of the name of Mair in the world today; 6,000 living in the British Isles. The largest percentage are in the Aberdeenshire and Lanaarkshire districts, the balance spread throughout Scotland and England. Ther are 6,000 living in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The first person of the name to bear Arms was John de La Mare, 1261, but these Arms predate the registration of Arms in 1672. The first registration of Arms was of John Mair Esq. of Aberdeen, in 1776. Secondly John Mair Esq. of Paisley, now of London, in 1784. At present there are three Armigers of the name Mair.
The Right Honourable The Countess of Mar, Chief of the Name and Arms of Mar, has accepted all the name of Mair as followers of the Tribe of Mar with all duties, rights and privileges pertaining thereto and are entitled to wear the Green Mar Tartan.
The Mair Family Tartan was registered and accredited with the Scottish Tartan Society in 1985 by Robert G A Mair of Australia, which is based on an old Hebridean tartan with basic colours of the Mair Arms.
VARIOUS SPELLINGS AND MEANINGS OF THE NAME.
There are many recordings of the name, in various spellings, in the old records in Scotland. The oldest mentioned is Abraham Marus who held land in the Garioch in the reign of William the Lion in the 12th Century..
Mair derived from the Gaelic MAOR (Officer). MAIR
Mair (Old Scots Latin) meaning a descendent of. MAIRIS.
Mair (French) meaning a descendant of. MARUS - MARIUS.
MacMares (Scots) for a son of Mair MacMARES.
Mair (Latin equivalent) MAJOR.
ORIGINS & SOME HISTORY OF THE CELTIC NAME MAIR SCOTLAND,
WHO ARE FOLLOWERS (SEPTS) OF CLAN MAR.
1. Mair of Fee was an hereditary officer in the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th Century and much further back into mists of antiquity.
Ref (i) Skene: The King's maire is of ane greater power and authoritie nor the messengers or officers of the armies & speciallic in justice aires & punishing of trespassers. Skene views the term Mair of Fee as synonymous with Toscheoderach.
Ref (ii) Jamieson: The further back, continues Jamieson, we trace the officer of Mair the greater is its dignity.
Ref (iii) (938) - Pictish Chronicle: "Dubican Mormair of Angus" , Wynton :Ã· "Of earlys, barnys & Marys".
Ref (iv) Robertson index: among the Scot Maomor seems anciently to have been equivalent to Earl.
Ref (v) Skene Ane Mair of fee "Toschach" is rendered by Skene an officer or maor.
Ref (vi) Register of the Bishopric of Moray, there are two heads - the genealogical head or head of kin, Ceankineal, and the real leader or Toiseach, as the tribal system changed into a system of thanages the Toiseach became a Thane.
Ref (vii) The late Mr James MacDonald, Huntly, in discussing the place name Auchmair in Upper Gabrach, says Ã· I think the name has been originally Achadh -Maoir the "field of the Mair or officer". Maoir means the King's deputy or mormaoir, from whom, probably, the district of Mar derived the name.
Ref (viii) Rogers Social Life, The Maomar ruled over his Clan, & became their supreme Law - giver & judge, - the subordinates of the Moarmar were Maoirs or lesser judges'.
Ref (ix) Malcolm Canmore, Maomars were designated Earls, while Maors latterly ranked as Barons of bailleries.
Ref (x) Kingship & Unity - The winning of the west: "Royal Bailies" The Isle of Man (mane) news that King Haakon had died reached the Scottish King Alexander at about the same time as he heard of his son's birth. The doubly propitious omen spurred Alexander to a final effort. An expedition was fitted out for the Isle of Man, which Magnus Olafsson anticipated by coming to Dumfries to surrender his Kingdom. Henceforth he would hold it of the King of Scots by service of 10 galleys of 24 oars and 5 galleys of 12 oars. But he soon died and the island was put in charge of royal bailies, in 1274.
1. "Godfrey Macmares", 2. The bastard son of Thomas of Galloway earl of Atholl, and 3. Maurice O'Carson. Though the first and last may have been Manxmen, their administration was not popular and in 1275 the whole island broke into revolt. Alexander III suppressed it severely, and probably as a result two parties emerged; one adhering to the Scots King and the other chafing for independence.
Ref: (xi) Highland Clans & Regiments - Volume 1 - Pages 51 & 52.
King Kenneth, after a reign of 24 years, was, it is said, in 994 assassinated at Fettercain, by Fenella, the wife of the *Maormor of the Mearns", a daughter of the Cunchat, the Moarmar of Angus, in revenge for having put her only son to death.
Ref (xii) Dictionary of surnames - Patrich Hanks & Flavin Hodges -
Oxford Press 1988.
Mearne Scots 1* habitation name from a place in the former County of Renfrews, so called * from GaÃ©l mairne office or province of a Mair.
2. Local name for a region more or less coinciding in the former County of Kincardine, called The Mearns.; apparently of the same origins of 1)* continued back in the mists of antiquities.
Ref: As derived from the "Chronicles of Eri (Ireland), written in the Phoenician language, translated by Dr O'Connor and published in 1822 , reprint 1922.
The Gael of Sciot of Iber.
The Invasion and subjugation of Ireland.
Tables of Chiefs & Rulers. (page 35,) of Ireland as Ardri, from about 700B.C. to 7B.C. It is interesting that there are four High Kings of Eri listed whose name is Mair and they are with the prefix Airgeadmair, ruled for 30 years; 185 years later Adamair, ruled for 5 years; 55 years later another Adamair who ruled for 5 years; 20 years later one Eundamair ruled for 3 years.
(Page 28) About B.C.380 Airgeadmair, King in Ullad, was chosen as 'Ardri' & ruled for 30 years as High King of Eri. He was very handsome and brave and was much loved by his own people, but the princes of Mumain & Gaelen cherished an evel spirit towards him which brought about a battle, resulting in a great slaughter, and Airgeadmair fell, covered with wounds in B.C.140.
Yes there is a Mair family Tartan, Designed by Dr Peter Eslea MacDonald in 1985, and has been accredited by the Council of the Scottish Tartans Society, on the Register of all publicly known Tartans, for Robert Mair, Armiger of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is based on an old Hebridean sample together with the heraldic colours, red & yellow, of the Mair Arms.
Red Blue Red Green White Red Blue Red Green Yellow Green Red
46 4 4 6 2 4 36 4 6 2 6 46
Those wishing to obtain & wear the Mair Tartan should ask for permission from:
Robert Mair, Esq. FSA Scot.
14 Linda Court,
There is no Mair Clan.
Mairs are followers of the Clan Mar (Tribe of Mar).
Our Chief is the Countess of Mar & Baroness of Gaurach, 31ST Mormaor of Mar.
Those bearing the name Mair are entitled to wear the Green Mar Clan Tartan.
Followers is the correct word for (Sept).
Ref: Acceptance of the Mairs - From the Chief the Countess of Mar.
MAIR ARMS - SCOTLAND
Ref: Rolls of Scottish Arms & The Lord Lyon's Office.
Sir Hugh de la Mare, 1261 (which predates registration in Scotland).
John Mair, Esq. , of Aberdeen, 1776.
John Mair,Esq. , of Paisley later of London, 1784.
Currently there are three Scottish Armigers:
Maxwell Ian Mair, Esq. , of the Bahamas.
Alexander Mair, Esq. , of Scotland.
Robert George Alexander Mair, Esq. , of Australia.
Sir Hugh de la Mare
John Mair, Esq.
John Mair, Esq.
Maxwell Ian Mair, Esq.
Alexander Mair, Esq.
Robert George Alexander Mair, Esq