Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Mair Name
Origins of Mair:
This interesting and unique name, with the different spelling Mare, acquires from the Olde Gaelic word “maor”, which means an administrator, constable, or warden, and was frequently given as a Scottish professional name to an officer of the courts whose duty it was to execute notification and other legal court orders. Those who held inherited assignments were described “mairs of a fee,” because others related to as Praeco Regis (heralds of the king). In the act of the Scottish Parliament, dated 1426, the mair introduced as the “king’s sergeant,” and named to bear a “horn and wand.” The surname was first listed in the second part of the 13th Century, and one Symon le Mare, of Perthshire, affected admiration to Edward I of England in 1296, and a Eustace Marr or Mare was the collector of donations of the sheriffdom of Perth in 1360. John Marie, a Scottish trader, was given a safe conduct overland to business between Scotland and England in 1453. John Mair or Major (1469 – 1550) was a professor of philosophy and Lord at Glasgow University in 1518. He released “History of Greater Britain, both England, and Scotland,” in 1521.
More common variations are: Maire, Maier, Maira, Maior, Mairi, Maiur, Mairo, Mairy, Mawir, Mairu.
The surname Mair first appeared in Cheshire at Mere, a township, in the church of Rosthern, union of Altrincham, hundred of Bucklow.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Robert le Mare, dated about 1220, in the “Cartulary of the Abbey of Saint Andrew,” Scotland. It was during the time of King Alexander II of Scotland, dated 1214-1249. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.
Many of the people with surname Mair had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Mair settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Mair who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Daniel Mair settled in New York in 1774. Peter Mair settled in Maryland in 1774. Daniel Mair arrived in New York in 1774.
The following century saw more Mair surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Mair who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Charles Mair landed in New York in 1812. H Mair arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1822. Hugh Mair landed in New York in 1825. Andreas Mair arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1850. Thomas Mair arrived in Philadelphia, PA between 1840 and 1860.
Some of the people with the surname Mair who settled in Canada in the 19th century included John Mair arrived in Canada in 1820.
Some of the people with the surname Mair who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Thomas Mair arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship “John Bunyan.
Some of the people with the surname Mair who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included G Mair landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1829. R Mair landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1830.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Mair: Austria 5,501; Germany 5,245; England 3,565; United States 2,888; Scotland 2,461; Italy 1,388; Canada 1,338; Australia 1,289; Pakistan 1,006; Jamaica 875.
Adam Mair (born 1979), is a Canadian ice hockey player.
Charles Mair was a Canadian poet and son of Scottish immigrants.
Earnest Mair is an Australian rugby league football referee.
Eddie Mair is a Scottish television and radio presenter.
Gilbert Mair (trader) (1799 – 1857), was a sailor and merchant in New Zealand.
Lee Mair (born 1980), is a Scottish football player.
Norman Mair is a Scottish rugby player and analyst.
Rafe Mair is a Canadian politician.
Mair Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Mair blazon are the bars dancettee, eaglets and pegasus. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and azure .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli . Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” .
The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful. Wade, quoting Guillim suggests that dancettee be attributed to mean water, in the same fashion as undy or wavy, and one can understand this allusion.
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period . They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject , but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The pegasus Is a typical example of a mythical creature, as real to a person of the middle ages as dogs, cats and elephants are to us today.