Motto: An t’Arm breac dearg (The red tartaned army)

The name MacQuarrie, as it is commonly written today, comes from the Gaelic ‘MacGhuaire’, son of Guaire, an old Gaelic personal name meaning proud or noble.  The other main forms in which this name appears are: MacCorry, MacGorry, MacGuaire and MacWharrie.  This small clan were the possessors of the island of Ulva off the western edge of Mull.  They also own part of Mull.  They are a branch of the Clan Alpin, and claim descent from Kenneth MacAlpin, first king of Scotland, together with the MacGregors, MacKinnons and MacPhies.  

According to tradition, they are descended from Guaire, brother of Fingon, the progenitor of the MacKinnons.  Hector MacQuarrie of Ulva is said to have fought with his clan at Bannockburn in support of Bruce.  However, the first chief of whom there is any firm record is John MacQuarrie of Ulva, who died in 1473.  

A fire at the MacQuarrie’s House in 1688 destroyed and thus makes it difficult to corroborate the early history.  In the early days of the clan history the MacQuarries were followers of the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles.  John M'Goyre of Ulva witnessed a charter by John of Yle, Earl of Ross in 1463.  However, after the forfeiture of the Lordship in 1493, the MacQuarries became followers of the MacLeans of Duart.  In addition to the use of the MacQuarrie tartan, individuals of this name may also claim that of either the MacDonalds or MacLeans.