[Up] [Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Who are the Lairds?

In response to Laurels enquiry and Sinclair's reply, apart from "Laird" being 
an occupational description we of the surname Laird are very much a family of 
the same name, and in Caithness, as most of the familys, including the 
Sinclairs, of Norse origin.  In investigating our ancestry, we have yet to 
identify a Laird who was a Laird (in the landed sense). We have recently 
identified one real Laird (landed), William Laird of Glenhuntly in 1777, and 
are looking for more information about him.  A variation of his Arms has also 
been found matriculated by a Laird in England.  For the moment it is 
speculation that our original Norse name may have adapted to spelling in the 
same way as the Scottish "lord" or "landowner".  In Western Norway, our point 
of origin, I have found old farm names beginning with "Leir", e.g. Leirvik, 
Leirdal and Leired. The Norwegian adjective "laerd" means scholarly,erudite, 
learned! On the other hand "leirdue" is a clay pigeon! There is a town and 
county in Sogn called Laerdal.  In the south of Scotland we see the surname 
appear  when one Roger Lawird of Berwick made an agreement with the Abbey of 
Kelso relating to his land of Waldefgat in 1257.Thomas le Lanerd of 
Peebleshire rendered homage in 1296.  Laird sometimes appears in Orkney and 
Caithness as Leard and Leird.  I am investigating the origins of the surname 
in Caithness, where Church records start around 1650.  I have entered some of 
my findings in my webpage "http://ourworld.cs.com/inslaird".  There is a 
thriving Laird Family Association in the USA with a webpage 
"http://www.qcsi.net/lfa/" but the Laird family is not a clan in the 
traditional sense, and  so my family is proud, with the Earl's permission, to 
wear the Sinclair Tartans and the Badge of Sinclair.  

I believe the Lairds are a "mislaid" sept of Sinclair, as Caithness families 
by the name of Budge, Clyne, Lyall, Linklater and Mason are also considered 
to be Sinclairs.  100 years ago there were many of the surname Laird in 
Caithness and now there are but one or two.  In the Norse tradition of our 
forbears, we continue to wander the world.

Yours aye 

Iain Laird
[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@mids.org
[ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html