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In the reign of Malcolm IV (1153-65) a family of Norman origin was established in the north of Fife as vassals of the priory of St Andrews; the head of the family took his surname from the lands of Kinnear (probably Gaelic ceann iar - 'west headland') now represented on the map only by a farm name. By 1296 Sir John de Kyner was important enough to have his name included in the Ragman Roll. Henry Kinnear of that Ilk was appointed commendator of Balmerino Abbey in 1574, and by this time the family had the lucrative monopoly of ferry crossings of the Tay at what is now Newport. George Kinnear was an Edinburgh banker in the early 19th century whose lovely wife was painted by Raeburn. The name, now found all over Scotland, may tend to be confused with Kinnaird.