A name taken from possession of the ancient barony in the county of Haddington. Byres Castle is now a ruin, but it occupied a highly defensible position over the fertile farmland of this rich county. The barony passed to the family of Lindsay but the Byres family became prominent and wealthy merchants. John Byres of Coates acquired the estate of Coates on the outskirts of Edinburgh and became lord provost of the city. Sir John Byres of Coates added the lands of Warriston near Edinburgh to his inheritance and fought for the king during the civil war, when he was knighted for his services. His fine seventeenth-century mansion of Coates still stands and now forms part of the world-famous St Mary’s Cathedral Music School. The family continued to prosper and acquired the barony of Tonley in Aberdeen which became the chief seat of the family. Major Patrick Byres fought at the Battle of Culloden and thereafter fled to France where he entered the service of Cameron of Lochiel in the French Royal Scotch Regiment. The direct line passed through an heiress to the distinguished Aberdeen family of Moir of Overhill, but they assumed the additional surname of Byres and continue to live on the family lands to this day.

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