For saving his life from a wild boar, King William the Lion is said to have made extensive grants of land to one of his followers named Baird. A charter was granted to Richard Baird of Meikle and Little Kyp in Lanarkshire, and King Robert the Bruce granted the Barony of Cambusnethan to a Robert Baird. This family spread to Banff, and later to Aberdeen. George Baird of Auchmeddan married the niece of the Earl Marischal, and the family increased in importance, and supplied a long line of sheriffs to that county. From the Auchmeddan branch came the Bairds of Newbyth and Saughtonhall. John, who died in 1698 was created Knight. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. One of the most eminent of the name was John Logie Baird (1888-1946) the Scottish electrical engineer and television pioneer, born in Helensburgh. He studied electrical engineering at Glasgow University. Poor health compelled him to give up the post of engineer at Clyde Valley electric power company, and after a brief career as a sales representative, he settled in Hastings and began his research. In 1926, he gave his first demonstration of a television image. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884, Registered at Newbyth, County Aberdeen.
Gaelic Name: Mac a'bhaird
Origin of Name: Lanarkshire
House of Auchmeddan
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