Weir Clan

Weir Clan Crest: Upon a chapeau Gules furred Ermine a boar statant Azure armed Or.

Weir Clan Motto: Vero Nihil Verius (Truth, nothing but truth).

Weir Clan History: The surname originates from Vere, after several place names to be found in Normandy and which derive from the coastal fishing stations set up by long ago Norse invaders. Ralph de Ver, who was with William the Lion at Alnwick in 1174, is the first of the surname to be recorded in Scotland. It is generally accepted that he was connected with the English de Vere family, who became earls of Oxford, a title which became dormant with the death of Aubrey de Vere, 20th Earl of Oxford, in 1703.  

Richard Wer of Lanarkshire rendered homage to Edward I in 1296.  The Weirs of Blackwood, who claimed descent from Ralph de Wer, acquired their lands in Lanarkshire in 1400. Prior to this, Rothald de Were , Baillie of Lesmahagow, held the lands of 'Blackwodd, Mossinyning and Durgundreston' under a Charter from Robert, Abbot of Kelso. Branches of the family were also to be found at Stonebyres and Archtyfardle. In the Highlands of Scotland, the name Weir was adopted by several families of MacNair, a surname usually associated with Clan Buchanan, Clan Macfarlane and Clan Macnab.

In 1733, Charles Hope, second son of the 1st Earl of Hopetoun, married Catherine Weir, heiress of the Weirs of Blackwood, and his family adopted the surname Hope-Weir, although it was later amended to Hope-Veir.  He was Member of Parliament for Linlithgow until 1769, and was made Governor of Blackness Castle.

Major Thomas Weir of Kirkton (1599-1670) was born in Lanarkshire. In 1641, he was sent to Ulster by the Covenanters to protect colonists from Scotland. He was appointed Commander of  the City Guard in Edinburgh, and 1649  formed the escort for the Marquis of Montrose when he was taken for execution.  Towards the end of his life, despite a reputation for Protestant puritanism, he confessed to sorcery. Although nobody was inclined to believe him, his sister spoke of the Devil being driven through Edinburgh's Grassmarket in a coach drawn by six black horses. As a result, he and his sister were tried and found guilty of witchcraft, He was burned at the stake, and she was hanged. There is a tradition that he can still sometimes be seen riding through the Grassmarket, only to disappear into a circle of flame.

William Weir was founder of the Weir Group in Glasgow, and served as Director of Munitions and Secretary of State for Air during the First World War. In 1938, he was created Viscount Weir of Eastwood.

Tom Weir (1914-2006) and his sister Molly Weir (1910-2004) were born in Glasgow. Tom was an eminent Scottish countryside author and outdoors specialist who presented the enormously successful television series, Weir’s Way. Having made her name in radio broadcasting, notably playing the housekeeper in the early situation comedy series Life with the Lions, Molly became an accomplished stage and film actress, as well as writing a series of books.

Surname distribution in Scotland: The Weir name is most commonly found in Renfrewshire, Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Glasgow City, East and West Dunbartonshire, Stirlingshire, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh City, the Lothians (Linlithgowshire, Edinburghshire and Haddingtonshire) and Dumfries and Galloway (Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire).

Places of Interest:  Bridge of Weir in Renfrewshire allegedly takes its name from a crossing point on the River Gryffe. Craigiehall, near Cramond in Midlothian, was in the late 17th century the home of Charles and Catherine Hope-Weir. It is now the headquarters of the Second Division of the British Army. The bridge, grotto and bath house which the Hope-Weirs built can still be seen.

Weir Clan membership certificates.