This is an occupational name derived from the Old English word "baecestre" meaning a female baker and later Middle English "bakstere" which was applied to both male and female bakers. In early Latin charters the name is rendered as "pistor" - the Latin word for baker. In that form the name is found as early as the 12th century.
Baxters are found all across Scotland but those in the west are generally regarded as dependents of the Clan Macmillan>.
In Fife, they were a prominent family in their own right and witnessed important documents in the 13th century. Between 1200 and 1240 a Reginald Baxtar witnessed a gift of a church of Wemyss in Fife. The name is still found frequently in Fife and the Baxters of Earlshall in northern Fife lived in a baronial castle there. Kilmaron Castle was a mansion built for a Baxter family near Cupar in Fife, around 1820.
In 1296 Geffrei le Baxtere of Lossithe in Forfar took an oath of allegiance to the king. Baxter was (and is) a common name in Angus as Forfar was at one time a royal residence and the first Baxters there may well have been royal bakers.
The Baxters of Kincaldrum were the first to bring power-weaving to the City of Dundee. They prospered as a result and gifted Baxter Park to the city. They endowed a college which eventually became the University of Dundee.
In more modern times, the Baxter family in Fochabers on the river Spey in Morayshire have built a successful business creating quality soups and produce from local suppliers. And Stanley Baxter has had a long career as an actor and comedian.
The Baxter clan motto is "Vincit veritas" which means "Truth prevails".
MacBaxter is regarded as a sept (sub-branch) of the McMillan clan.
Return to Index of Clans/Family Histories.
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