The Scottish Surname Balfour

The Scottish name Balfour was taken from the barony of the same name and is first found in recorded history in 1304. The spelling of the name has undergone some changes through the centuries, a common occurrence with many names from this time period. Alternate spellings include Balfure and Balfoure as well as a dozen others which have been recorded over time.

Meaning of Balfour

The name has several meanings, typically broken down to mean “village”, “pasture” or “field”. The motto of the Balfour clan is Fordward, or forward, and the family crest is of an arm holding a baton. The clan is autonomous with no clan chief at this time.


Balfour is not a common 1st name and was not in the top 500 Scottish boys’ names in 2013.

People with the Name

There have been numerous notable people with the Balfour surname over time including actors, clergy and scientists. Arthur Balfour was the prime minister of great Britain from 1902 to 1905. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 was named in honour of him. It declared that each country within the British Empire was independent, yet retained an allegiance to the crown.

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and popularity of other boy’s names on our website.

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