Motto: Fortiter (Boldly)

The name MacAllister is spelled many ways, but most people in the clan’s old territory tend to use McAlister, tracing their descent from Alastair Mor, son of Donald of the Isles, grandson of the warrior Somerled.  This clan came into prominence in the mid 14th century on the peninsula of Argyll that bears the names Knapdale and Kintyre.  Alastair first appears as a witness to a charter granted by his brother Angus, Lord of the Isles, to the Abbey of Paisley c.1253.   

In 1481, Charles Macalister was made constable of the Castle of Tarbert.  The Castle of Tarbert was used by James IV as a naval supply base during his campaign to suppress the Lordship of the Isles.  Clan Alistair occupied an influential position through alliances.

The Macalisters came to Stirlingshire in the 14th century and thereafter their Celtic name was anglicised into the more familiar lowland, Alexander.  By the 16th century they had settled on the estates of Menstrie, north-east of Stirling Castle.  

By 1706 Tarbert had passed from the Macalisters into the hands of the Macleans.  The chiefs continued to flourish on their lands of Loup.