The origin of the surname Baird is quite complex. Sources propose multiple origins. The Clan Baird Society, in conjunction with other historical and genealogical groups, continues to uncover historical events around the early history of the name Baird through genetic, historical and archaeological research. Cognates of the names (Beart, Baarde, Bard) appear throughout the British Isles as a consequence of internal migration as well as multiple origination points. However, the spelling Baird became standardized in the 16th century. The oldest use of the name in Scotland is in 1178 for Henry de Barde [Latin spelling] in a charter for the lands in Stirling although it is reasoned that the progenitor of most of the various Baird families was Thomas de Bard of Posso in about 1296. This family appears to have generated very prominent branches including the Bairds of Auchmedden, Saughtonhall, and Newbyth. The Bairds expanded from areas in the lowlands to areas in the Highlands in places such as Balmaduthy and Suddy near Inverness by the 1500’s. During this time period, a second family married a well established Baird clan living in the Gaelic speaking regions of Aberdeenshire and Inverness. This combination of Lowland and Highland traditions would create one of the most powerful families in Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The society was founded by Byron Owsley Baird of Maitland, Florida USA in 1970 upon learning that from the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the legal authority on Heraldry and Coat of Arms, that the Chiefship was in dormancy and no organization existed for Clan Baird. A call went out to all Bairds in order to organize a global family organization that would support the Clan Baird. The Society adopted its current name in 1992.