Motto: Per ardua (Through difficulties)

The name MacIntyre is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic ‘mac an t-saoir’, meaning the ‘son of the carpenter or joiner’.  Exactly how the Clan got this name is unclear.  It is claimed in an old tradition that the family formerly were MacDonald.  One day out at sea a galley sprung a leak and one of the MacDonalds forced his thumb into the hole and cut it off, thus enabling the boat to reach safety.  He was henceforth known as ‘An t-saor’ and his descendants ‘Macan t-saoir’.

Another story says that Paul, another member of Clan Donald, built Dun Creich, a fort in Sutherland, during the 13th century.  These both seem quite farfetched. 

Another claims the MacIntyres came from the Hebrides to Lorn in a galley with a white cow!  Whatever the truth, they seem to have become established in Glen Noe, Argyllshire around 1300, where they were feudal inferiors to the Campbells of Glenorchy.  

The MacIntyres though were regarded as a Clan in their own right.  They had connections with several clans; as hereditary forresters to the Stewarts of Lorn, some followed the Campbells of Craignish and another moved to Badenoch, in 1496 being admitted as a sept of Clan Chattan by William 13th Chief of the MacIntoshes.  

MacIntyres were hereditary pipers to the Menzies of Weem, while another branch held the same office to MacDonald of Clan Ranald.  Famed MacIntyres include the great Gaelic poet Duncan Ban MacIntyre, a family at Claddich became famous weavers.