This name is derived from the Gaelic "mac an-t saor" or "son of the carpenter". Legend says that a nephew of Somerled, Lord of the Isles, bored holes in a galley of King Olaf of Norway which were only plugged when the king agreed to allow his daughter to marry Somerled. The descendants of this "carpenter" settled on the shores of Loch Etive by Ben Cruachan. But as a name based on a trade, it did not originate in just one place. There were a number of MacIntyres in >Lorne and Glencoe> in the 14th century. MacIntyres also had a tenancy agreement with the Campbells> for Glen Noe, annual payment being a snowball and a white calf. This was converted to a monetary value in the 18th century but when they could no longer pay this, the MacIntyres lost their land in Glen Noe. The clan chief emigrated to America where the line continues.
One branch of the clan became hereditary foresters to the Stewarts> and then the Campbells and others were hereditary pipers to the chiefs of the clans MacDonald> and Menzies>.
A number of MacIntyres became attached to the Stewarts of Appin and fought under their banner at the Battle of Culloden> in 1746. The MacIntyre clan chief was prevailed upon by his Campbell neighbours (who were government supporters) not to support the Jacobite Uprising> but a number of his clan no doubt slipped away to join Bonnie Prince Charlie>. In the same battle at Culloden, Duncan Ban MacIntyre, a fine Gaelic poet, fought on the Hanoverian side.
The MacIntyre clan motto is "Per ardua" which means "Through difficulties".
Surnames regarded as septs (sub-branch) of the MacIntyre clan include MacTear, Tyre and Wright.
MacIntyre was the 94th most frequent surname at the General Register Office> in 1995.
There is a MacIntyre clan Web site here>.
Return to Index of Clans/Family Histories.
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