The Clan History
The name Weir, like many lowland Scottish names, is of Norman origin from one or several of the places named Vere around the Calvados region of France. The word was introduced into Normandy by the Norsemen from their own word "ver" meaning a station. It appears that Ralph or Radulphus de Ver is the first of the name recorded in Scotland. He was taken prisoner along with Richard the Lion in 1174; he later witnessed a charter by King William I sometime between 1174 and 1184. During the same period he gifted a bovate of land in Sprouston, Roxburgh to the Abbey of Kelso; his brother, Robert de Ver, was a witness to this charter. The Weirs of Blackwood, Lanarkshire, claim their descent from this Ralph de Ver, although this cannot be proven as their name does not appear on record until 1400 when they acquired their lands. Other Weirs were vassals of the Abbots of Kelso and as such held extensive lands in Lesmahagow. Some of the MacNairs in Cowal anglisized their name to Weir or Veir, the Gaelic original being Mac Amhaoir; the "mh" is pronounced "v". MacAmhaoir has been extinct as a name for about two hundred years and the Anglicization into Weir may well have contributed to its disappearance. William Weir was created 1st Viscount Weir in 1938; he had been Secretary of State and Chairman of the Air Council in 1918 and industrial adviser to the Ottawa Conference in 1932. The best remembered of the Weirs is Major Thomas Weir of Kirktown c.1600-1670, the "Bowheaded Saint". [Actually, he was called the "Bowhead Saint," because he lived in the bowhead (the west bow) of Edinburgh and was a zealous Covenanter or Presbyterian. Major Weir was the son of Thomas Weir of Kirkton and his wife Jean Somerville, also reputed to be a witch. Thomas Weir of Kirkton was the son of William Weir de Vere of Stonebyres and his wife Elizabeth Hamilton.] Born in Lanarkshire, he was a lieutenant in the army sent by the Covenanters to protect the Ulster colonies in 1641. Later he was a major in Lanark's Regiment and was appointed to command the City Guard of Edinburgh. Outwardly he portrayed himself as a religious man, but was secretly addicted to various crimes and deviations. He confessed at the age of 70 and along with his sister was burned alive for witchcraft in 1670.
Motto: Vero nihil verius (Latin: Nothing is more true than the truth)
Septs: Clan Wier is also a sept of Clans Buchannan, McFarlane, and MacNaughton
Spellings: Vere, Wier, Wear
Names associated with the clan: Vair Veir Vere Veyre Wair Ware Wayre Wear Weare Weer Weir Weire Were Werr Weyir Weyr Whier Wier Wir Wire
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