Motto: Perseverando (By persevering)

The name MacKellar is thought to be derived from the Gaelic ‘Mac Walair’, ‘son of Earlair’, from Hilarius, Bishop of Poitiers in about 1230, and the main family was in Argyll from the 13th  century, before spreading to other parts of Scotland and oversees.  

In 1476 James III granted to Gilchrist MacAlere the lands of Ardare and Craigmingle in the Barony of Glastray.  Although the Barony, which was probably in Argyllshire, is no longer in existence, the ownership is recorded in a volume of The Great Seals of Scotland.

The MacKellars are considered a sept of the Campbells of Argyll and in the records of church parishes of Scotland, there is some evidence of the likely first links between the two.  In 1518, Duncan MacKellar of Ardare was depute for Colin of Argyll and in 1538 Eilleane M’Caller was one of the Bailles of Earl Archibald.  

The two counts for the MacKellar tartan are very similar and appear to be comparatively new having first appeared c.1930.  Given the long association, the Clan Campbell’s Clan tartan would be equally appropriate.