The McArthur or Arthur Family

McArthur or Arthur family crest

(Crest No. 89. Plate 41.)

THE McArthur family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heber. The founder of the family was Cathal, King of Munster, A. D. 734. The ancient name was Artureigh, signifying “The Sailor.”

The possessions of the sept were located in the present Counties of Cork and Limerick. In the latter county the McArthurs were chiefs in the barony of Pubhlebrien.

Among the notable personages of this name may be mentioned Rev. James Arthur, a Dominican friar in the Abbey of St. Stephen, Salamanca, professor of divinity and author of a “Commentary on Aquinas” and other works.

Dr. Thomas Arthur, a Catholic physician, was born in Munster in 1593. He studied on the Continent, and after his return to Ireland became the leading practitioner of his time. Many of the most distinguished personages of the day were among his patients. During the Penal Laws many of the most eminent of the Irish physicians were Catholics, medicine being the only profession left open to them.

There are several of the name prominent in the United States. The late Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States, was a descendant of this family.