The Bairds are an ancient family and owned lands in Lanarkshire and the Barony of Cambuskenneth in the 13th and 14th centuries. They spread northwards to Banffshire and Aberdeenshire and acquired importance as Sheriffs of Aberdeen. There were some important branches, including Auchmeddan and Newbyth, and John Baird was created a knight baronet and became a Lord of Session with the title Lord Newbyth. General Sir David Baird had a long and notable military career in India, the Cape of Good Hope and at the siege of Copenhagen. After the death of Sir John Moore at Corunna he assumed chief command of the Army. He died in 1829.