Origin of the Name Balfour
The ancient history of the name Balfour
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Balfour is a name of Scottish locality origin from the lands or barony of the same name near the junction of the rivers Ore and Levev in the parish of Markinch, Fife. This name is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in Scotland. Examples of such are a John de Balfure who is recorded on an assize in the year 1304. A William de Balfure witnessed a charter by Duncan, Earl of Fife between 1331 and 1335. Other examples of some of the most prominent of the name include Sir James Balfour (1583), who was author of 'Balfour's Practicks'. Robert Balfour (1550-1625), was a philosopher. James Arthur Balfour (1848-1930,) was a statesman and philosopher, be being Earl Balfour of Whittinghame.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The Balfour coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Balfour descendants.