The History of the Clan Weir
The name Weir originates from the Norman ‘Vere’ and the name is now generally found in Lanarkshire and other parts of Scotland.
The first person of this name mentioned in Scottish history is a Radulphus de Vere in the 12th century. He was a son of Aubrey, 1st Earl of Oxford who joined the Flemish side during the succession in England. He went to Scotland in 1165, giving his loyalty to William the Lion at the Battle of Alnwick, history states that Ralph was captured alongside the King in 1174.
His progenies lived at Blackwood in Lanarkshire, his grandson, Richardus de Vere was administrator of the lands and the Barony of Blackwood in 1296. In that same year Richardus pledged his fidelity to Edward I, and was one of the signers of the Ragman Roll. Also, in that year the sheriff of Edinburgh restored the land that was stripped of him to Thomas de Wer.
In 1400, the manor of Blackwood was established by an agreement to Rothald Weir and the Weirs held many lands at Kelso, where the abbey had been gifted land by Radulphus at the end of the 12th century.
The name is mentioned again in 1489 in a negative light when George Weir took part in setting fire to the town of Dumbarton. In 1532, we see the name in history again when Alan Lockhart received the death sentence for the murder of David and Ralph Weir, but the sentence was never carried out.
The most well-known, or rather infamous Weir was Major Thomas Weir, he was Captain of the Edinburgh town guard. After his career ended as Captain of the Guard, he became an enthusiastic protestant preacher, with well-attended prayer meetings in the town of Edinburgh. He is so well-known in history because at one of these meetings that he unexpectedly confessed to witchcraft and incest. He had the undecided honor of being the last man to be burned for witchcraft in Scotland.
‘Weir of Hermiston’ was the title of Robert Louis Stevenson’s last book and tells the story of Adam Weir, Lord of Hermiston, who sentences his son Archie to death. James Weir founded an engineering company, by the name of G. & J. Weir & Co in Cathcart in the 19th century. The clan of Weir is an Armigerous clan and is recognized as a branch of the Buchanans, the MacNaughtons and the MacFarlanes.
In Blackwood, the historical residence of the Weir Clan, a branch of the Weirs/De Veres lived at the Stonebyres Estate and records show their residence lasted from the 15th century until 1845. In 1934 the house was demolished in a fire and the family name remained in the history books.