REID families were a sept of Clan Robertson. They were known as Clan Donnachaidh. They claim to be descended from the Celtic Earls of Athol. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. Early records of the name mention Gilbert le Rede of Coule who was committed to prison and died there in 1296. James Reed was bailie of the Burgh of Stirling in 1364. Joseph Reid (1843-1917), born in Ayrshire was inventor of the Reid oil burner which did so much to advance the oil industry in the United States. The presence in Ireland of the Scottish and Northern English surname Reid and the English Read, is due mainly to 17th century immigration to Ulster of settlers of the name. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. Other instances of the name include George Warde and Denys Reade, who were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1568. Richard Reid of County Bedfordshire, registered at Oxford University in the year 1592. Edward Reed and Elizabeth Mellon were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1788. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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