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The Reverend D.B. Blair was born in Strachur on Loch Fyne, Argyleshire, Scotland, to John Blair and Catherine MacGregor. His father was employed as manager of a large sheep farm. Blair received his education at Edinburgh University and was licensed to preach in 1844. Two years later he left Scotland for Barney's River, Pictou County, where he was ordained on 29 October 1846. From 1850-1890 he preached at the Free Church congregation established in Barney's River, which derived from the Garden of Eden, Blue Mountain and Barney's River, and was named "Blair Presbyterian Church" in his honour.
In 1851 he married Mary Sibella of Brolas, Mull, Argyleshire. She died in 1882. They had six children: Anna Margaret, Thomas Chalmers, Laughlan MacLean, John Knox, Ewan Alexander and David Welsh. Blair was considered, in his day, to be the best Gaelic scholar in North America. He died in 1893 and is buried at Laggan, Pictou County.