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MacAlister History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Coat of Arms MacAlister Coat of Arms
Clan Crest MacAlister Clan Crest
Crest A dexter hand holding a dagger in pale, all Proper.
Motto Fortiter
Translation Boldly
Plant Common heather
Gaelic name Mac Alasdair

Some doubt exists as to the exact progenitor of this clan, but it is generally accepted they are the descendants of Alisdair Mor, son of Donald of Islay and great-grandson of Somerled, King of the Isles. The lands of Lowb, later to be the chiefly designation of Loup, are mentioned in a charter by James III confirming lands in Kintyre to the Lord of the Isles. In 1481, Charles Macalister was made constable of the Castle of Tarbert, and received a grant of land. Charles was succeeded as chief by his son, John, who was the first to be styled "of the Lowb". Clan Alister occupied an influential position, although they were by no means a numerous clan and therefore sought to secure their position by alliances with other houses. In 1591, Godfrey Macalister of Loup received a charter from the Earl of Argyll in relation to lands at Tarbert which they held until after 1745.

In 1602, Archibald Mac Alister, the heir of Tarbert, led his men, along with other clans of north Kintyre, to raid the prosperous island of Bute, for which act he was denounced as a rebel. In 1605 Archibald and his kinsman, John Macalister, Tutor of Loup, were ordered to appear before the Privy Council and find surety on pain of being outlawed. Alexander Macalister, along with Angus Og, leader of the MacDonald's of Islay, was found guilty of treason and after incarceration in the Tolbooth prison in Edinburgh, they were hanged. However, by 1623 Macalister of Loup is named as one of the justices of the peace for Argyllshire. The Mac Alisters came to Stirlingshire some time in the 14th century, and during generations that followed their Celtic name was anglicized into its more familiar lowland version, Alexander. By the 16th century they settled on the estates of Menstrie only a few miles north-east of the might royal castle of Stirling. William Alexander of Menstrie became a courtier under the patronage of the Earl of Argyll. He was instrumental in promoting the colonization of the Scottish territories in Canada, known as Nova Scotia, and devised the scheme whereby those investing in the colony would receive the honour known of a Baronetcy of Nova Scotia.

By 1706 Tarbert had passed from the Mac Alisters in the possession of the Mac Leans. The chiefs continued to flourish on their lands of Loup and a younger son, Duncan, settled in Holland in 1717, where he rose to high rank in the army; his descendants can still be traced to this day. The chiefly family eventually sold off their estates in Kintyre, and the present chief lives in England. Glenbarr Abbey is the modern clan centre, displaying many interesting artifacts and mementoes of the name.

 MacAlister Tartans

Tartan Image
MacAlister Modern Tartan MacAlister Tartan
MacAlister Ancient Tartan MacAlister Tartan


Website Description Clan MacAlister of America

MacAlister Septs:

MacAlaster, MacAlester, MacAlister, MacAllaster, MacAllester, MacAllister, MacCalaster, MacCalester, MacCalister, MacCallaster, MacCallester, MacCallister, McAlaster, McAlester, McAlister, McAllaster, McAllester, McAllister, McCalaster, McCalester, McCalister, McCallaster, McCallester, McCallister, MacColaster, MacColester, MacColister, MacCollaster, MacCollester, MacCollister, McColaster, McColester, McColister, McCollaster, McCollester, McCollister, MacAlasdair, MacAllasdair, MacCalasdair, MacCallasdair, McAlasdair, McAllasdair, McCalasdair, McCallasdair, MacLaster, MacLester, MacLister, McLaster, McLester, McLister, Alister, Allister, Alester, Alistair, Allaster, Allistair, Allester, Allasdair, Alasdair, Alaster, Alastair, Saunderson, Saunders, Sandrissoun, Sandrison, Sanderrissone, Sanderisone, Sandersounn, Sanderis, Sandersone, Sanderson, Sanders, Alshinor, Alshonar, Alshioner, Aleschenor, Alschinner, Alshinder, Aleckander, Alshonder, Alschioner, Alschoner, Alshenour, Aleschunder, Alaksandu, Alschonder, Alexshunder, Alisschonder, Alschunder, Alisandre, Alshander, Alaxandair, Alisschoner, Alshumder, Ashioner, Aschenour, Alzenher, Alshoner, Alshunder, Alzenor, Alshonner, Alsinder, Alshonir, Elshener, Elshender, Elchuner, Elshenour, Elshenar, Elsender, Elsher, Elchyneur, Elzenour, Elshinar, Elshioner, Elshunder, Sandiesoune, Sandesoune, Sandie, Sandesoun, Sandesone, Sandesounn, Sandy, Sandison, Sandeson, Alexander, Aillieson, Allesoune, Allesoun, Aleson, Alison, Allasone, Allason, Allasoun, Allison, Allasoune, Allasson, Alesoun, Allsoun, Allisone, Alason, Alizon, Alleson, Alisone, Alissone, Alesone, Alysone, Aliesone, Aleynson, Aleinson, Allanson, Alensone, Allansone, Allansoune, Aleynsson, Allinson, Alanesone, Alinson, Alansoun, Alanesoun, Alanson, Alansone, Alynson, Ellis, Ellison, Elliss, Ellisson, Alexanderson.