Baird Clan

Baird Crest: A Gryphon's head.

Baird Clan Motto: Dominus Fecit (The lord made).

Baird Clan History: Baird Clan History: The Baird surname is most likely to be Norman in origin, though it's often claimed to be territorial from lands in Lanarkshire. The first Baird in Scotland supposedly saved William the Lion was from a wild boar whilst on a hunt. Several Clans claim that their first chief saved the king of the day from some errant wild beast. A more probable explanation is that they were granted their lands after pledging military service to the King and taking an oath of fealty.

The first records of the name in Scotland are from 1178 when Henry De Barde was witness to a charter granted by William the Lion to the Bishop of Glasgow. Henry de Barde also witnessed a gift by Thomas de Haya to the house of Soltre between 1202 and 1228.

In 1308 Baird of Carnwath in Lanarkshire was convicted of a conspiracy against Robert the Bruce and put to death. His lands were forfeited and were given to Sir Alexander Stuart of Darnley.

King Robert the Bruce in 1310 granted lands to Robert Baird in the Barony of Cambusnethan in Lanarkshire. This branch of the family later held lands at Posso and Lavoroklaw in Fife. The Earl of Buchan in 1539 disponed the lands of Auchmedden in Aberdeenshire to Andrew Baird for a sum of money. Auchmedden from this time onwards became the seat of Baird family for over 200 years.

George Baird of Auchmedden in 1589 was pardoned by King James VI, for his part in assisting Huntly after the Catholic insurrection at Corrichie.
 
William Baird, Laird of Auchmedden joined the Jacobite rising of 1745 and was an officer of the Prince's body guard at Culloden. After the battle he had to go into hiding and the estate at Auchmeddan was later sold to Lord Haddo in 1750 to pay off his debts.

A prophecy, attributed to Thomas the Rhymer, states that "There would be an eagle in the crags while there was a Baird in Auchmedden" When the estate passed out of the family at this time, the eagles disappeared from the rocks of Pennan, where they had nested for centuries.

Places of Interest: St. Drostan's Kirkyard, New Aberdour, Aberdeenshire. Ancient burial place of the Bairds of Auchmedden, including the chiefs of the Clan Baird. Byth House, King Edward, Aberdeenshire. Site of old castle which was held by the Bairds in the 1600's. The castle was incorporated into an 18th century house which in turn was superseded by a newer mansion in the mid 1950's. Castle of Fiddes, nr. Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. 16th Century tower house, property by the Bairds in the early 1600's. Closeburn Castle, nr. Thorhill, Dumfriesshire. 14th Century castle which is one of the oldest in Scotland to be continually inhabited. The property went to the Bairds in the mid-1850's. Cobairdy, nr. Huntly, Aberdeenshire. Site of 16th Century castle which was held by the Bairds in the mid-1600's, replaced by a mansion house in the 1800's. Elie House, Elie, Fife. Mansion house that incorporates a 17th Century castle. Held by the Baird family in the 19th Century. Newark castle, nr. Elie, Fife. The ruins of a 15th Century clifftop castle, overlooking the North Sea. Property of the Bairds of Elie in the 1700's. Posso Tower, Manor Water Valley, nr Peebles, Borders. Very little remains of this tower house, seat of the Bairds of Posso from the 13th Century to the middle of the 16th Century. Strathaven Castle, Strathaven, Lanarkshire. Ruins of a 15th Century castle, held by the Bairds in the early 1300's.

Surname distribution in Scotland: The Baird name is most commonly found in Stirlingshire, Falkirk, Clacks, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway (Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire), Lanarkshire, Edinburgh City and the Lothians.

 

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