Balfour MAI S NO324003 1 373 45m

(Peter of) Balfur 1263 Barrow 1974 no. 7
(John of) Balfur’ 1284 St A. Lib. 421 [w. to charter anent church lands in MAI]
(John of) Balfur c.1326 SAUL MS 37490 no. 1
Balfoure 1507 RMS ii no. 3117 [to John Beaton (Betoun)]
Balfoure 1528 RMS iii no. 633 [John Beaton and Isobel Monypenny his wife]
Balfour 1564 Retours (Fife) no. 55 [John Beaton (Betoun), in the lands of Balfour with the mill]
Balfour 1587 Assumption 15
Balodur 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Balfour 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Balfowre 1663 Lamont’s Diary 162
Balfour 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1 [also Cotts, representing Ainslie/Fife’s Balfour Cottown]
Balfour 1775 Ainslie/Fife [D. Bethune Esquire; also Balfour Cottown]
Balfour 1790s OSA, 623 [site of a bridge over the River Leven]
Balor 1790s OSA, 645 [‘E. of Balgone ... is Balfour or Balor, an old building’]

G baile + G pòr

‘Farm of (the) crop-land’ (baile (a’) phùir). It is marked as an antiquity on OS Pathf. 373. This is one of several places called Balfour in eastern Scotland. The well-known Fife family of Balfour takes its name from this estate.

    /bəlˈfur/ is the older pronunciation. More common now is /ˈbalfər/ or /ˈbalfɔr/, presumably through the widespread familiarity of Balfour as a surname, pronounced in this way, especially as a result of the career of Arthur Balfour, the conservative statesman and British Prime Minister (1902–05), who died in 1930. In spite of this, the older pronunciation can still be heard locally.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 2