On the Scottish west coast, the McCarthur family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the Celtic personal name Arthur.
It denotes the 'son of arthur', which means noble one.
Early Origins of the McCarthur family
The surname McCarthur was first found in Argyllshire
(Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland
corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland
, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute
, where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Scotland
to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the McCarthur family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCarthur research.Another 184 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1427, 1767, and 1817 are included under the topic Early McCarthur History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McCarthur Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations
appear in records of early Scottish names. McCarthur has appeared as MacArthur, MacArtair, MacArter and many more.
Early Notables of the McCarthur family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan
from early times was Alister MacArthur who was beheaded by James I in 1427; and John MacArthur of the Strachur branch (1767) who journeyed to Australia
with the 102nd Regiment. He became actively involved in the development... Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCarthur Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McCarthur family to Ireland
Some of the McCarthur family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McCarthur family to the New World and Oceana
These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence
was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The McCarthur were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Neil McArthur who settled in New York State in 1738 with his wife Mary Campbell and three children, Alexander, John, and Christian; Patrick McArthur also settled in New York State in 1738 with his wife Mary McDugall and children, Charles, Colin, and Jennet.
The McCarthur Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Fide et opera
Motto Translation: By fidelity and work.
McCarthur Family Crest Products