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The family was known in the Borders as early as the reign of Alexander III. The name derives from the Norman or French, 'chese', 'to choose' and the Sexon, 'holm', meaning 'meadow'. Their lands were at Chisholm in the parish of Roberton in Roxburghshire. One of the earliest recorded members of this family is John de Chesehelme, who was mentioned in a bull of Pope Alexander IV in 12.....

Heraldry Database: Baird


Surname:  Baird
Branch:  Baird
Origins:  Scottish
More Info:  Scotland

Background:  The meaning of the name Baird is Minstrel, Poet. The mythological motif of saving the King through a feat of strength, common to other clan histories such as Baird and Turnbull, is also at the origin of the Baird clan. The legend recounts that the first Baird saved William the Lion from a wild boar - the killing of a wild boar also bearing similarities to the origin of Clan Campbell.

The Baird name seems to reflect the geographical location of lands held by the family in Lanarkshire near the village of Biggar in the thirteenth century. Early in the fourteenth century King Robert Bruce bestowed the lands at Meikle and Little Kyp, also in Lanarkshire, to Richard Baird.

It is stated that Fergus Debard, John Bard, and Robert Bard, who swore submission to Edward I of England, were from the Kyp branch of the family. As the family expanded, however, the principal Baird family came to occupy lands in Auchmedden in Aberdeenshire.

A marriage with the neighbouring Keith family, Earls Marischal of Scotland, strengthened their influence in the country.

Thomas the Rhymer had created an ancient prophesy that was to hold true for the Bairds of Auchmedden: "there shall be an eagle in the craig while there is a Baird in Auchmedden." According to local tradition, a pair of eagles that had regularly nested on the crags near Auchmedden left the area when the estates of Auchmedden passed into hands of the Earls of Aberdeen.

The eagles returned as the Bairds returned to the land through the marriage of a younger daughter of William Baird of Newbyth to Lord Haddow, eldest son of the Earl of Aberdeen. The prophesy continued to be fulfilled as the estate passed to another branch of the Gordon family.

Motto:  Dominus fecit, The Lord has done this.
Arms:  Gules, a boar passant or.
Crest:  A gryphon’s head erased proper.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

The coat of arms of this family proclaim the legend of its origin which, like so many, involves a feat of strength which saves the life of a king. This version states that the first Baird saved William the Lion from a wild boar. The name appears to be territorial, from lands held by the family in Lanarkshire near the village of Biggar.Henry Debard witnessed a deed by Thomas De Hay between 1202 an 1228. Richard Baird received land at Meikle and Little Kyp in Lanarkshire, during the reign of Alexander III. Anderson states that Fergus Debard, John Bard and Robert Bard are supposed to be of the family of Baird of Kyp. The principal family of the name came to be that holding the lands of Auchmedden in Aberdeenshire, whose influence in that county was strengthened by marriage into the powerful Keith family, Earls Marischal of Scotland. James Baird, a younger son of the house of Auchmedden, became an advocate in Edinburgh and his son, John, was created a baronet and then a High Court judge under the title of ‘Lord Newbyth’. His splendid house of Newbyth in East Lothian still stands.The estate of Auchmedden passed into the hands of the Earls of Aberdeen and a pair of eagles which had regularly nested on the nearby crags left the area, fulfilling an ancient prophecy by Thomas the Rhymer, that ‘there shall be an eagle in the craig while there is a Baird in Auchmedden’. Lord Haddow married a younger daughter of William Baird of Newbyth, and the eagles returned. They reputedly fled again when the estate passed to another branch of the Gordon family. Sir David Baird was one of the leading soldiers of his time and saw action in India and throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The name gained prominence again in the twentieth century through John Logie Baird, the pioneer of television. In 1926 he demonstrated the first television transmission, and he remained heavily involved in its development until his death in 1946.

Name Variations:  Baard, Beard, Baird, Beird, MacBard, Barde, Bard.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Scottish Clans and Tartans; Neil Grant - 2000.
Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia; George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire - 1994.
Scottish Clans and Tartans; Ian Grimble - 1973.
World Tartans; Iain Zaczek - 2001.
Clans and Families of Scotland; Alexander Fulton - 1991.
ScotClans: http://www.scotclans.com/scottish_clans/clan_baird/history.html





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