Once upon a time, long, long ago could be the starting line for a fairy tale or the defining of the history of Clan Arthur. The name MacArthur is among the oldest in the Argyll Highlands, so ancient as to make modern research difficult. We had resided there since the earliest of times, that even in the old Celtic days, we were the subjects of a celebrated couplet:
Cruic 'is uillt 'is Ailpainich, Ach cuin a thainig Artairich?
The hills and streams and MacAlpine, But whence came forth MacArthur?
Another Scottish proverb describes MacArthur in this fashion:
"There is nothing older, unless the hills, MacArthur and the devil"
When describing MacArthur in historical terms, it is typically describing the history of the Loch Awe MacArthurs, or the Tirevadich MacArthurs. These MacArthurs were the possessors of the chief line. Since the 1400's, clan Arthur has been without an official chief...until now. On August, 2002, Lord Lyon, King of Arms granted the petition of chief of clan arthur to James Edward Moir MacArthur of that Ilk. Jim, as he was fondly remembered, oversaw the establishment of a worldwide network of macarthur societies, and nobly performed his duty as chief until his death in April, 2004. His son, John Alexander MacArthur of that Ilk, assumed the position in June, 2004.
Although there may be controversy as to precise lineage, two schools of thought about MacArthur of Tirevadich are listed as such:
Norma Lorre Goodrich, an authority on the subject of King Arthur describes MacArthur lineage as:
Chief Ian MacArthur was described as a "great prince and leader of a 1000 men." It would seem apparent that the Tirevadich MacArthurs were of royal descent.