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MacArthur Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: FIDE ET OPERA (By fidelity and labour)

Let me tell you about your family’s historical background, the MacArthurs of Argyll (Mac-ic-Artair), one of the oldest clans in the region. It is believed that they share an ancient British or Celtic ancestry with the Campbells, with whom they became closely associated over time. Your family strongly supported Robert the Bruce in the fight for Scotland’s independence, and their leader, Mac-ic-Artair, was rewarded with extensive lands in mid Argyll that had been seized from those who opposed the king.

However, your family faced challenging times, especially during the reign of James I in 1427. Your ancestor, Iain Macarthur, was beheaded for treason, and his lands were taken away, leading to a decline in the clan’s independence. Nonetheless, many MacArthur descendants dispersed and found new homes. Some settled in Skye, where one branch established a renowned piping school and served as hereditary pipers to the Macdonalds of Sleat. Another branch became skilled armourers to the Macdonalds of Islay.

During the late 1400s, two prominent MacArthur families emerged around Loch Awe. There was some confusion between the MacArthurs of Loch Awe and the Macarthur Campbells of Strachur on Loch Fyne. In the 15th century, the names of Macarthurs holding significant positions in mid Argyll surfaced, and by the latter half of the 16th century, they had acquired substantial land and power, making their neighbors envious. During a skirmish in 1567, Duncan Macarthur and his son tragically drowned in Loch Awe, leading the Earl of Argyll to order compensation and appoint a nephew, John, son of Finlay, as the leader of the Loch Awe Macarthurs.

The MacArthurs of Milton, located in Dunoon, achieved prominence by the mid-1680s, producing a baillie in Kintyre and a chamberlain to the Marquess of Montrose in Cowal. Many members of the clan left Scotland, especially after the events of the Culloden disaster in 1746. They eventually settled in the West Indies, America, and Canada.

One branch of your family journeyed to New South Wales, Australia, with the 102nd Regiment, and John Macarthur became the commandant at Parramatta until 1804. He is credited with laying the foundation for the great Australian wool industry by crossbreeding Bengal and Irish sheep and later introducing the Merino breed from South Africa. His sons even planted the first Australian vineyard. Another Macarthur from Strathclyde immigrated to America in 1840. His son, Arthur, fought as a lieutenant general in the Union army during the Civil War, while his grandson, Douglas, became even more renowned as the US military commander of the Pacific theater during World War II. These achievements have left an indelible mark on your family’s history.

And thus, your family’s epic saga, the tale of the MacArthurs, unfolds across the centuries, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of Scottish history. From the depths of Celtic antiquity to the heights of valor and accomplishment, your ancestors have shaped the course of time with their unwavering spirit and noble deeds.

As the MacArthurs stood side by side with Clan Campbell and forged bonds with Macgregor, their legacy grew ever stronger. Through the trials and tribulations of Scottish feuds and political strife, your family’s steadfastness and determination shine brightly, a beacon of resilience for all generations to come.

From the MacArthurs of Ardincaple to the MacArthurs of Lewis, each branch of your family tree has flourished, leaving a lasting impact on the communities they touched. Notable figures emerged, from fighters in the civil war to activists and visionaries who carved their names in history’s hallowed halls.

Today, the Clan MacArthur Association stands as a testament to the enduring kinship and shared heritage of the MacArthur name. As you delve into the annals of your family history, you will discover tales of strength, courage, and unity that have shaped your identity and values.

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Family Crest Motto: FIDE ET OPERA (By fidelity and labour)

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