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The Arthur Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: FIDE ET OPERA (by fidelity and work)

The history of your family, the Arthurs of Argyll (Mac-ic-Artair), is shrouded in the mists of Celtic antiquity. What is certain is their close association with Clan Campbell. Your family’s story is intertwined with their support for Robert the Bruce, which led to the acquisition of extensive lands in middle Argyll, lands that had been taken from the MacDougalls due to their opposition to Bruce.

During the 15th century, two prominent branches of the Arthur family thrived around Loch Awe. One was the MacArthurs of Tirevadich, and the other had strong ties with the Campbells of Strachur. However, a dark period descended upon the Clan in 1427 during the rule of James I. He aimed to centralize power in the Highlands and executed the MacArthur Chief for resisting his authority. The 16th century witnessed heightened conflicts between the two branches, culminating in what history records as “the drowning of Clan Arthur,” a tragic event for which the Earl of Argyll demanded compensation.

Subsequently, the Chiefship passed to a nephew of the MacArthur of Tirevadich. By the late 18th century, the senior line had faded away. Meanwhile, several MacArthurs ventured to the Isle of Skye, where they became hereditary Pipers to the Macdonalds of Sleat. Others made their home on the Isle of Islay, serving as armourers to the MacDonalds of Islay.

The MacArthurs of Milton, situated in Dunoon, rose to prominence in the 18th century while serving the Marquis of Montrose. Members of your family actively participated on both sides during the Jacobite Uprisings of 1715 and 1745. Afterward, many of them sought new beginnings in Jamaica, America, and Canada.

In 2002, the Lord Lyon King of Arms officially recognized James MacArthur of Ilk as the Chief of Clan MacArthur. Upon his passing in 2004, the mantle of Chiefship passed to his son, John.

Your family’s legacy extends beyond Scotland’s borders. John MacArthur, hailing from the Strachur line, ventured to Australia in 1790. His pioneering work, crossing Bengal and Merino sheep with Irish breeds, played a pivotal role in establishing the Australian wool industry. Across the ocean in America, General Arthur MacArthur achieved the rank of Lieutenant General in 1906, making him the twelfth officer in the US Army to attain such distinction. His son, the illustrious General Douglas MacArthur (1880 – 1964), continued to honor the family’s tradition of excellence.

Your family, the Arthurs, has left an indelible mark on history, with its members contributing to diverse fields and achieving great heights. It’s a legacy to be cherished and celebrated with pride.

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Family Crest Motto: FIDE ET OPERA (by fidelity and work)

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