Clan MacIntyre Association

About

Motto: Per Ardua   -   Through difficulties

Crest Badge: A dexter hand holding a dagger in pale Proper.

Tartan: MacIntyre  (Modern Hunting, Ancient, Weathered, Dress)

Plant Badge: Froach Geal (White Heather)

Gaelic Name: Mac an t-Saoir   -   The Carpenter's Son

Pipe Music: Gabhaidh sinn an Rathad Mor

War Cry: Cruachan - Ben Cruachan is the homeland mountain

 

MacIntyre in Gaelic is Mac an t-Saoir which means, son of the carpenter (Wright). When and how the MacIntyres originated as an independent clan can only be surmised from a number of stories handed down in the oral tradition and a few dates from contemporary history. The history as stated her certainly was told long before written records were kept. Most of these stories contain common elements such as boats and the cutting off of a thumb of one hand as a heroic act. There are too many to be recited here but most can be found in the recently published history, Clan MacIntyre: A Journey to the Past, by L. D. MacIntyre..

The Scots came from Ireland around the sixth century AD, first on the Western Islands and then in what is now called Argyll, which is also where the MacIntyre Chief settled. This area is called Lorn after Loarn, the son of King Erc of the Irish Dalriada, part of what is presently called Northern Ireland.

Tradition suggests that the MacIntyres originally lived in Sleat on the Southern tip of the largest Western Island, the Isle of Skye. The MacIntyres moved from Sleat to the mainland on Loch Etive in Argyll. This was either because their progenitor was given land as a gift for his heroic act for his uncle Sommerled, or because of continuing Viking raids.  It could be due to both. They settled with their white cattle at a place called Glen Noe on the North Slope of Ben Cruachan and the South shore of Loch Etive. Exactly when the MacIntyres arrived here is unclear, but is was sometime between 800 and 1200 AD, give or take a few hundred years, with circa 1000 AD the easiest date to remember. Once they arrived at Glen Noe, the MacIntyres naturally became connected with the larger Clans in the area. They were foresters to the MacDougalls of Lorn and then the Appin Stewarts. The largest clan bordering their small glen was the Campbells with whom they also share their war cry - Cruachan. It was good fortune, good strategy or both, that the MacIntyre Chiefs often married Campbell's. The Campbell Chiefs also thought it was a good strategy and routinely had their daughters marry the Chiefs of neighboring clans. More often than not, this resulted in the Campbell's acquiring the other clan's territory and sometimes the entire clan when there was no heir except for the Campbell widow.

Fortunately, MacIntyre Chief's continued to produce heirs or outlive their wives, but that did not deter the Campbell's who eventually got the MacIntyre land, but they did not get the clan!


MacIntyres have always been a small, industrious, and well-respected Clan that usually kept out of trouble by keeping out of politics and major battles. This is perhaps why we remained an independent clan. However, we lost clear title to Glen Noe as a free hold as punishment for an accidental homicide of a Campbell. The only other significant battle that affected the MacIntyres directly was at Culloden in 1746 where ten MacIntyres were killed or wounded as part of the Stewart of Appin regiment that supported Bonnie Prince Charlie. There is no record of fatalities of MacIntyres fighting for the Government. These fatalities were not the cause of MacIntyres leaving Glen Noe but Culloden was fatal to the highland way of life and governance.

In the 1490's the MacIntyres were admitted as the sixteenth clan to the Clan Chattan Confederation. This confederation is probably the longest, continuous extant alliance in the history of the world!


MacIntyres living in Cladich, not far from Glen Noe near Loch Awe, were highly acclaimed for their weaving and for some time their "Cladich Garters" (stockings) were an essential part of the Highland Dress. It has been said that these garters were the forerunners to the "Argyll Socks" that many a young lady knitted for her boyfriend in the United States in the 1940s and 50s.


MacIntyres who left Scotland and went to England, frequently 'anglicized' their name to fit in with the local population. Since MacIntyre means, son of the Wright or carpenter, they often removed the MAC and translated INTYRE or the Gaelic "an t'Saoir" into Wright or Joiner.