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Surname Caird - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'C'

Caird: What does the surname Caird mean?

The last name Caird is an anglicised variant of the Gaelic surname O'Catharda, which translates to "son of Cathard/Catharda". This Gaelic surname originated in the Scotland and Ireland, primarily in the counties of Ayrshire and Uíbh Fháilí or Ulster.

The historical origins of the name Cathard/ Catharda are said to trace back to two distinct septs of Scottish aristocracy - the Scottish Royal House of O' Catharda, which traces its ancestry to the powerful Uí Nualláin clan in the kingdom of Leinster in Ireland, and the related Lowland nobles of Ayrshire.

The O'Catharda family was renowned for its bravery and loyalty to the Scottish crown; most notably, in 1250, the line's founding patriarch, Cathard O'Catharda, fought alongside William the Lion in the Battle of Maiden Castle. It is from this important figure in history that the name Caird and its variants derive.

Etymologically speaking, Caird derives from the Gaelic word cáird, which means "bard", a poetic minstrel in ancient Celtic cultures. Thus the name O'Catharda is thought to symbolize poetic talents and lyrical skill.

The last name Caird continues to spread throughout the world, from the British Isles to North America and beyond, and remains a popular name today.

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Caird: Where does the name Caird come from?

The last name Caird is a Scottish surname derived from the old Gaelic word "caorach" which means "shepherd". It is most commonly found today in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Northern England. It may also be found in Australia, Canada, and the United States.

In Scotland, the surname is most highly concentrated in the regions of Ayrshire, Perthshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Midlothian, and East Lothian. In Northern Ireland, it is more commonly found in south-east of the Belfast region. In the United States, the surname is most commonly found in California, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, and Florida.

The earliest records found with the surname suggests that the family of Caird was a branch of the Noble Clan of Ramsay. It is likely that the first members of the Caird family were vassals of the Ramsay clan, they were often called Strathnaver Cairds or Men of Strathwaver.

Unsurprisingly, the surname is most commonly associated with countless historical figures in Scotland, including the poet Alexander Caird who was born in Edinburgh in 1823. He was a prolific writer of poetry and authored the great poem, ‘Lord of the Isles’.

Variations of the surname Caird

The surname Caird has several variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. These include Card, Kard, Care, Cairds, Kaird, Kairds, and Kered.

The surname Caird originates from the Old French word “card”, meaning “rope-maker”. It is generally understood that the spelling with a “C” indicates a Scottish or Irish origin, and with a “K”, an English origin. Thus, the surname could have been adopted into different regional dialects or in an effort to reflect a family’s regional origin.

The surname Caird is likely of patronymic origin, with one of the Caird ancestors having the name Care or Card, which would likely have been derived from the French occupational name. It is also possible that the surname Caird was assumed as a signifier of a family’s place of residence or trade.

The surname Caird has been found to be well-established in many countries. In Scotland, the surname Caird originated as a clan name in Dumfries. The Care/Card/Caird family is also believed to have been a part of the earls of Buchan in Aberdeenshire. In England, the surname appears to be most common in Lancashire, Derbyshire, and East Anglia, as well as in Cornwall. In Ireland, the surname can be traced to six main family septs in the counties of Ulster and Connacht.

The surname Caird is still found in many English-speaking countries today, such as Scotland, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Famous people with the name Caird

  • David Caird: British newspaper editor and political journalist
  • Edward Caird: Scottish philosopher
  • Edith Caird: British philosophical writer
  • John Caird: Lee Professor of Divinity at the University of Glasgow
  • Catherine Caird: British theatre director, writer, and professor
  • Oskar Caird: Swedish surgeon
  • Robert Caird: British actor
  • Stephen Caird: British classical bassoonist
  • Peter Caird: British screenwriter
  • William Caird: Scottish politician

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