The mythological motif of saving the King through a feat of strength, common to other clan histories such as Baird and Turnbull, is also at the origin of the Baird clan. The legend recounts that the first Baird saved William the Lion from a wild boar - the killing of a wild boar also bearing similarities to the origin of Clan Campbell.
The Baird name seems to reflect the geographical location of lands held by the family in Lanarkshire near the village of Biggar in the thirteenth century. Early in the fourteenth century King Robert Bruce bestowed the lands at Meikle and Little Kyp, also in Lanarkshire, to Richard Bard.
It is stated that Fergus Debard, John Bard, and Robert Bard, who swore submission to Edward I of England, were from the Kyp branch of the family. As the family expanded, however, the principal Baird family came to occupy lands in Auchmedden in Aberdeenshire.
A marriage with the neighbouring Keith family, Earls Marischal of Scotland, strengthened their influence in the country.
Thomas the Rhymer had created an ancient prophesy that was to hold true for the Bairds of Auchmedden: "there shall be an eagle in the craig while there is a Baird in Auchmedden." According to local tradition, a pair of eagles that had regularly nested on the crags near Auchmedden left the area when the estates of Auchmedden passed into hands of the Earls of Aberdeen.
The eagles returned as the Bairds returned to the land through the marriage of a younger daughter of William Baird of Newbyth to Lord Haddow, eldest son of the Earl of Aberdeen. The prophesy continued to be fulfilled as the estate passed to another branch of the Gordon family.