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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish McCarter family come from? What is the Scottish McCarter family crest and coat of arms? When did the McCarter family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McCarter family history?

On the western coast of Scotland and on the Hebrides islands the McCarter 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.

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In various documents McCarter has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacArthur, MacArtair, MacArter and many more.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCarter research. Another 319 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1427, 1767, and 1817 are included under the topic Early McCarter History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 81 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCarter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McCarter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 158 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name McCarter or a variant listed above:

McCarter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Robert McCarter, who arrived in Maryland in 1659

McCarter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Sarah McCarter, who landed in New England in 1729
  • John McCarter, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766

McCarter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James McCarter, aged 20, arrived in Maryland in 1813
  • Miles McCarter, aged 35, arrived in America in 1822
  • Nance McCarter, aged 33, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1851
  • Arthur McCarter, who arrived in New York in 1851
  • Cornelia McCarter, who landed in New York in 1851


McCarter Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Edward McCarter, aged 14, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1901
  • James McCarter, aged 29, who emigrated to America from Barrow, England, in 1907
  • Joseph McCarter, aged 2, who emigrated to the United States from Donegal, Ireland, in 1908
  • Barbara McCarter, aged 31, who landed in America from Donegal, Ireland, in 1908
  • Eliza N. McCarter, aged 53, who landed in America, in 1909


McCarter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Duncan McCarter, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia

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  • Gordon McCarter (d. 2002), American football official in the National Football League (NFL)
  • Kyle McCarter, Republican member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 51st district since February 2009
  • Lloyd G. McCarter (1917-1956), Private in the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the United States Army, awarded the Medal of Honor
  • Robert H. McCarter (1859-1941), American lawyer who served as the Attorney General of New Jersey
  • Thomas N. McCarter (1867-1955), American lawyer who served as the Attorney General of New Jersey
  • Willie McCarter (b. 1946), retired American NBA basketball player
  • Billy McCarter (b. 1888), Australian rules footballer who played for Geelong in the VFL
  • Brigadier George Arnold McCarter (b. 1896), Canadian Commanding Officer 16th Canadian Brigade


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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.

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  1. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  4. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  5. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  6. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  10. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  11. ...

The McCarter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McCarter Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 April 2015 at 12:15.

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