- Recorded in several forms including MacArthur, McArthur, MacCarter, MacCartair, McCarter, and possibly others, this is a famous surname of Scottish origins. The original clan were very powerful until the 14th century, being the lords of Lorne, where they held large estates, and the keepers of the castle of Dunstaffage, granted to them by King Robert, the Bruce, in about the year 1320. However early in the 15th century they fell foul of the incoming Stuart monarchy, and after their chief John MacArthur, was beheaded by James 1st, most of their estates were forfeited. They were in such dire staits that many clan members dropped the Gaelic prefix of 'Mac' and become known simply as Arthur or Arthurson, a patronymic first recorded around the year 1500. Other early examples of the surname recordings include Gyllemache M'Carthair of Moray in 1569, and Dougall M'Airthour, the sherrif of Argyll in 1599. The name however achived international recognition in the 19th and 20th centuries through a military father and son combination. General Arthur MacArthur (1845 - 1912) and his son General Douglas MacArthur (1880 - 1964), of Scottish origins, both held the highest rank in the United States army of Lieutenant General. Arthur MacArthur was the supreme commander in the Phillipines war of 1906, whilst Douglas MacArthur was supreme commander in the Pacific War (1941 - 1945), and accepted the surrender of Japan. He was later supreme commander of the UN forces in the Korean War of 1950 - 1953.
Surnames reference. 2013.