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The Laird Arms Investigation

The Laird Family Association has recorded a "Laird Crest". We have received advice from the Lyon Court in Edinburgh as follows. The Lyon Clerk writes, inter alia:


"The Arms described by Cheryl Laird are those recorded in name of William Laird of Glenhuntly in 1777. The blazon or formal description is accurate although the comments thereon are by no means as certain. People endeavour to give precise meanings to each element in a shield and often without any substance at all. The colour representation of the arms is poor and the crescent shou1d be red. The motto should appear above the crest and not below the shield.

The motto "Spero Meliora" is fairly common and in Scotland alone is used by people of the surnames Baillie, Fairholme, Graham, Maxwell, Montgomery, Murray, Rait, Sandilands, Shanks, and Stewart as well as Laird but I cannot find that anyone of the surname Ogston has recorded Arms with that motto. As, however, your family originates in Caithness I am not surprised to learn that there are links with prominent families in that part of the world.

Thus I can confirm that the Arms given by Cheryl Laird are indeed accurate and they belong to and identify Laird of Glenhuntly. There is no such thing as a family coat of arms which all people bearing the same surname may use."

The "Laird Arms" Click to enlarge (226789 bytes)
Cheryl Laird has described the Arms as follows:
Blazon of Arms: Argent a chevron gules, between two boar's heads erased proper, in chief and crescent in base of the second. (Translation: The chevron is symbolic of Protection and often granted to one who achieved some Noble Enterprise, the boar is associated with Bravery and Perseverance and the crescent colour white denotes Peace and Sincerity and red signifies Military Fortitude.) Crest: A buck's head issuing proper. Motto: Spero Meliora Translation: I hope for better things.
It is further described as:
Three red boar heads. One large over gold helmet. The other two small red boars' heads are on a white armour shield above red "V" shape from one side of shield to the other. Below "V" is inverted half-moon.
By coincidence the Stag's Head was the badge of
Rollo (a son of Rognvald).  A greater coincidence is that the motto "Spero Meliora" appears on the memorial stone of Andrew Ogston, a Minister of Canisbay Kirk in Caithness who died in 1650.

There are also Arms recorded in England, and we have written to the Officer in Waiting at The College of Arms to see what information they may hold, as they also record genealogies.

William Laird of Glenhuntly was thought to have been born in Glen Huntly, Renfrewshire, in the area of the modern Port of Glasgow, in 1724.   Speculation that he was connected with  the Birkenhead Laird Shipbuilders has not been proven.

On a Card Index in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow:

"John Laird
Merchant, Maryland, USA
Titles to Glenhuntly 1772
T-MJ 353"

Ogston1.jpg (51500 bytes)
Andrew Ogston's Memorial Stone at Canisbay Kirk bears the motto "Spero Meliora"