A Lard is a Lord

29 Jun

Did you know that the name Lard probably came about from a mispronunciation and then misspelling of the name Laird, which is Scottish for the title, lord.

My great great grandmother was a Lard. Judi—maybe Judith—Isabell Lard. Some family notes called her Bell. She was born just after the Civil War, 1867 to be exact, in Waterloo, Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Lauderdale County is the county in the upper left hand corner of the state of Alabama.  That’s the northwest corner. The southern border is the Tennessee River. Waterloo was one of the original town sites established when the county was created in 1818, just a year after Alabama Territory was established. Waterloo, on the bank of the river, flooded and moved a few times through the years but the little town is still there. Pickwick Landing Dam was built upstream from Waterloo and the Tennessee Valley Authority intentionally flooded the area to create Pickwick Lake.

Waterloo also has the dubious honor of being the starting point for the Trail of Tears where the Cherokee, one of the Five Civilized Tribes were forcibly marched from their native lands in the southeast to newly laid out Indian territory, now the state of Oklahoma. The Indian Removal Act was signed in 1830 by President Andrew Jackson and Indian removal started in 1831. The Cherokee were the last to be removed, leaving their native Alabama homes in 1838.

Lauderdale County is kind of “home base” for my Scott family heritage, and July 28, 1885 Judi Lard married into the Scott family, when she wed William Charlie Scott. William Charlie is the grandson of John Scott who was the first Scott to settle there. Charlie and Judi Scott had the first of their eleven children there, including my great grandpa, Avery Albert Scott.

But back to the Lards. Judi was the daughter of James S. Lard II and his wife Nancy Qualls. He was known as Jim, and he was born across the state line in Hardin County, Tennessee. The word is he, along with a couple of brothers, came “from the north” to Alabama to escape their father who was a mean man.

That “mean man” was James Swan Lard Sr. who was born in Rowan County, North Carolina just after the American Revolution. Sometime before 1809 the Lards, like the Scotts, moved west into Tennessee and January 14, 1809 James Lard Sr. married Elizabeth “Betsy” Shons in Davidson County, Tennessee. James and Betsy had a son, Nathaniel Washington in Bedford County, Tennessee in 1816. Another son, Richard, was born in Williamson County, Tennessee in 1825 and ten years later in 1835, James Swan Jr. was born in Hardin County, Tennessee.

James Swan Lard Sr. was born in 1789, the son of Nathaniel Swan Laird. Nathaniel is the immigrant ancestor of this line and he was born in 1755 in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. These islands are north of the far north east shore of Scotland. They are separated from the mainland by about six miles of seaway. The history of the islands goes back to ancient times and they were under Norwegian rule in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Vikings used the islands as a base of operations for their pirate raids into the Scottish mainland and Norway.

Sometime after 1755 Nathaniel Swan Laird came to America. I don’t yet know if he came alone as a young adult, or came as part of a family group with siblings and parents. He was, however, a patriot during the Revolutionary War. I don’t know where he would have landed, but he ended up in North Carolina and that is where is was married in Rowan County. He married Agnes Scott January 17, 1781, Since my Scott historical research only extends to Buncombe County, North Carolina where John Scott was born in 1800 I have no idea if Agnes Scott might be a part of my primary Scott line.

Charlie and Judi Lard Scott came to Oklahoma about 1900-ish and the last of their children were born here in 1902 and 1904. The rest of the Lard family remained in the vicinity of Lauderdale County/Hardin County along the Alabama/Tennessee state line but I’m sure many descendants have spread out to other areas since then.

There’s more to the story of the Lard/Laird family in the Orkney Island and here in America, but this will do for now. I’m writing this because I recently met a 6th cousin along this line.  He descends from Richard Lard, born in 1825, older brother of James Swan Lard Jr. Their father, James Swan Lard Sr., is our 4th great-grandfather. I wonder if he’s heard anything about James Sr being “mean.”

I’d love to hear from anyone out there who knows more about this line, these people and these events. My new-found cousin tells me Richard, his 3x great-grandfather fought for the Union in Tennessee for six months at the beginning of the Civil War. Then he deserted and later fought for the Confederates. Those are the kinds of stories that bring history alive for me.

Let me know if you have anything to add.


Nathaniel Swan Laird > James Swan Lard Sr. > James S, Lard Jr. > Judi Isabell Lard (Scott) > Avery Albert Scott > Lela Mae Scott (Rose) > mom > me.


Posted by on June 29, 2014 in Scott


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35 responses to “A Lard is a Lord

  1. Richard Paul Mesa

    August 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    My Great Grandfather was Charlie Lard.

    • Richard Paul Mesa

      August 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      James Lard, brother of Richard Lard, is my great, great grandfather. He fought for the Union. My family still lives in Savannah Tennessee.

      • Jan

        August 16, 2014 at 9:03 am

        I don’t know anything about the Civil War records of the Lards so I’m delighted to add that to the family story. James S. Lard (jr), brother of Richard, was my 3x great grandfather. They were sons of James S. Lard Sr., b. 1798, in Rowan, NC. Is this the same James and Richard you’re talking about? That section of my family tree is lacking a lot of leaves so let me know if I’ve veered off course.

    • Jan

      August 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

      If my rough draft family tree is on the right track and I’ve found the right Charlie, I think your great grandfather was half-brother to my great great grandmother, Judi Isabell Lard Scott. Her parents were James S Lard (jr.) and Nancy Qualls. When Nancy died he married Martha Jane Scott and Charlie was one of their children. Am I in the right ball park?

      • Richard Paul Mesa

        August 28, 2014 at 1:07 pm

        Yes, you are correct. I’m pretty sure when Charlie would talk about his sister he called her “Bell”

      • Jan

        August 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        My mom started this research by taking blank forms to the Scott family reunion in Wynnewood, Oklahoma and passing them out to all the aunts and uncles and cousins. Bell is also the name she heard when they referred to her. It’s good to hear it from another source.

      • Dustin Lard

        November 19, 2014 at 8:08 pm

        Richard was my 3rd great grandfather also. His son George was my 2nd great grandfather, with his son Floyd being my great grandfather who I knew until I was 27. I have my tree going back to 1650 in the US but the Baskins & Matheny side. I am Dustin Daniel Lard.

      • Jan

        November 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

        Hi Cousin!
        I am not “sure” of anything on my tree past Richard…but I’m “pretty sure” about the Nathaniels who were next. I need to get serious about confirming all these grandparents!
        Thanks for reading!

    • Heather Lard Gaines

      October 1, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      My great grandfather was Charlie Lard. I have had a harder time figuring out my Lard side than my Scott side, but I believe his father was James Lard. My dad was born/ raised in Waterloo.

      • Jan

        October 2, 2015 at 9:01 am

        So we’re cousins. There were several James’, are we talking about the same one? Do you know when was your James born?

      • Heather Lard Gaines

        October 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm

        My James was born in 1838 although there has been other dates contradictory to this. I have seen both 1833 and 1836. His first wife was Nancy Qualls but my gggrandmother was his second wife Martha Scott. He dies in 1897.

      • Richard Mesa

        October 2, 2015 at 10:28 am

        Hi Heather, my Great Grandfather was Charlie Lard and his father was James Lard. If you don’t mind me asking, what was your Grandfather and Grandmother’s name? I believe we are cousins!

      • Heather Lard Gaines

        October 2, 2015 at 10:00 pm

        Hi Richard. My grandfather was Vernon Lard and my grandmother was Jewel (Scott) Lard.

      • Richard Mesa

        October 2, 2015 at 10:38 pm

        Is your father Lynn or Troy? I met your grandfather when I was very young. His sister was my grandmother, Effie. My mother Helen is your father’s first cousin. It sure is a small world!

      • Heather Lard Gaines

        October 3, 2015 at 9:43 am

        Lynn is my father. 🙂

      • Heather Lard Gaines

        October 3, 2015 at 3:54 pm

        Richard, you wouldn’t happen to have any information on Charlie’s wife, Clura (Hunt) would you? I don’t have anything about her family. All I know is that she possibly was part Creek Indian.

      • Richard Mesa

        October 4, 2015 at 12:36 am

        I remember Charlies wife, we called her Mam. I can ask my mom if her name was Clura. I know my mom says Mam always said she was part Indian, but I thought it was Cherokee. When she died her hair was jet black and she was in her 80’s. I’ll talk to my mom tomorrow and have more info. I’m pretty sure Charlie or Pap as my mom calls him was married twice.

      • Heather Lard Gaines

        October 7, 2015 at 8:14 pm

        I was over at my dad’s yesterday and we were talking about his family. He wanted me to ask if your mom also goes by Honey?

      • Richard Mesa

        October 8, 2015 at 11:55 am

        Honey was my mom’s little sister. She died of brain cancer in the 50’s. I believe she was in her teens.

      • Richard Mesa

        October 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm

        My mom says she played with your aunt Peggy as a child.

      • Heather Lard Gaines

        October 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

        Your mom and Aunt Peggy would be closer to the same age. Aunt Peggy is quite a bit older than my dad.
        Do you live in Savannah? I can remember visiting relatives there, but I was much younger and probably bored so I didn’t pay much attention to who it was.

      • Richard Mesa

        October 9, 2015 at 10:39 am

        Actually I live in California, but have visited Savannah many times. I have fond memories of Tennessee. I remember going there as a child and seeing all my mothers aunts and uncles. They were all alive back then even my great grandmother. I remember going to uncle Grady’s and watching him plow his fields with mules. That was over 50 years ago.

      • Dustin Lard

        April 28, 2016 at 9:10 pm

        About Nancy Quails…. I hate to admit this but the Qualls are on 3 sides of my family. My dads parents were 7th cousins and my parents are 12th cousins .. the Quall go back to James Town, VA. I think but am not 100% sure that the actor DJ Qualls in also a cousin, his family is from the same part of TN that were are from.

      • Jan

        May 4, 2016 at 11:18 pm

        I’ve done some “clicking-on-hints” research on Ancestry looking for info on the Qualls and I think it took them through Jamestown back to England… but I didn’t dig into it one generation at a time to confirm it was my line of Qualls. Do you have details on the link to Jamestown? I’d love to confirm that. I have other lines that also started in Jamestown that I want to pin down as well.

  2. Linda Allison

    August 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Yes Sir. Those Laird descendents have spilled across the American Continent. James Lard is my fourth great grandfather. His son Jacob Laird (his spelling) was born in Hardin Tennessee and settled in Arkansas, his grand daughter Arminta Paralee Laird Cannady moved on to live in east Texas and her grandson moved to California during the 1930s. His kin mostly live in California. PS. There is also a mean man story in our family legends.

    • Jan

      August 27, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      So, since he’s my third great grandfather, that means you and I are third cousins once removed? (Unless you’re referring to James Lard Sr., then we’re fourth cousins.) It’s so nice to meet you! My Lard/Laird information is very sketchy and I don’t have Jacob on my family tree. I’ll be in touch and see what you can tell me about him so I can fill in that branch of my family tree.
      Anything else you can tell me about the “mean man”? That part of the family story fascinates me. Makes me think of an old movie melodrama with the evil villain.
      Thanks for writing! I’m so glad to hear from you.

  3. Robin Laird Brown

    October 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    My great great great grandfather was Nathaniel Laird of Rowan, NC

    • Jan

      November 20, 2014 at 9:56 am

      What does that make us… sixth cousins? Thanks for reading!

      • robinlairdbrown

        November 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        At least 6th! We have many photos of Dickson Henderson Laird with most of the family. I will post them sometime this week or after Thanksgiving. You will enjoy seeing them if you haven’t already. I have shown everyone on my side the picture you posted of him in the rocking chair. They loved it! It’s amazing how much my oldest brother looks like Dickson. Creepy actually. Even the way they sit!

  4. Dustin Lard

    December 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I am looking for some clarity on one part. Some of the research that I have found have the father of Richard, James, and Nathanial W being Anderson Lard, some same James Swan Sr. Which is correct? I also have found a 4th brother Jacob. Any know the truth and can prove it?

    • Jan

      December 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      I’ve also come across Anderson Lard but he’s not on my tree right now.
      James S. Lard Jr.—brother of Richard—is my 3x great grandfather. Years ago mom talked to one of his grandsons in Alabama to get some family history. His father was James S. Lard Sr., son of Nathaniel. I also have Jacob, and a younger brother, Miles Fletcher Lard born before their mother, Elizabeth “Betsy” Shons died in 1838 (I think).
      James Sr. then married Zylphia and had another family with six kids. It helped a lot to figure out which kids belonged to which mom.
      I’ll see if I can find Anderson again in my notes and figure out why I took him off my tree. I’ll also see what records I have for these folks.

  5. Linda Allison

    October 21, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Hello Jan,
    Well apparently I have rediscovered your entries about the Lairds. (I have to say I like your blog style…. fun reading.) My last note was two years ago. Since then I have run across a posting of the pages from a Laird bible that exists on that I think you would be interested in. Let me know by email if you want a link.

  6. Jim Lard

    March 29, 2018 at 1:28 am

    I am a descendant of James Swan my Grandfather Meldradge Lard was the son of James Henry Lard , my Grandparents moved from Lauderdale Co . to Tishomingo County Ms in the mid 1920s where my family still resides I myself live in Washington State but my roots are in Alabama & Tenn.

    • Jan

      March 29, 2018 at 11:06 am

      Hi Jim,
      So excited to hear from another cousin. I found your line on my family tree.
      James Henry was my 3rd great uncle, half-brother of Judia Isabel Lard, my 2x great grandmother. She is the daughter of Nancy Qualls. Judia was born in 1967, and had a younger brother in 1868 and then Nancy Qualls died.
      With a batch of kids under the age of 11, James Swan married Martha Jane Scott and their first child, James Henry was born in 1872.
      Their son Meldradge was 1st cousin to Avery Albert Scott, my great grandpa. Your dad and my grandma are 2nd cousins you’re my mom’s 3rd cousins and you and I are 3rd cousins, once removed.
      And we are double cousins… Judia Isabel Lard married William Charlie Scott who is Martha Jane Scott’s 2nd cousin. Which makes us 6th cousins following this line (… I think).
      The Lard family in the 1800s was hard to untangle because of all the Jameses which I see continue to this day. 🙂 Besides father and son there’s your James Henry and another cousin James Avery (which is wHere my great grandpa got his name). Whew.
      Thanks so much for writing. It’s always fun to make a new connection.


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