McArthur, Hugh

Birth Name McArthur, Hugh
Gender male
Age at Death less than about 101 years


Work on the McArthur family is incomplete. I started with the information collected by Donna Phillips and others on the descendants of Hugh McArthur, from the Island Register, as a guide, as well as related trees, such as the Ramsay and Ellis families, also on the Island Register. I have started to look at wills, land records, and other records.

Of the sources that cover early Island families, there were no McArthur wills in the book Early PEI Probate Records, 1786-1850, and few mentions in the License Cash Book 1787-1805. There were only a couple of brief and incomplete baptismal records before 1820. There were two Prince County McArthurs in the 1798 census, and two in the incomplete 1841 census. I have also looked at secondary sources, like local histories. Generally by the third generation there are more primary sources of information for the McArthurs.

I'm not sure if I've attached the right sons, or all of the grandsons of Hugh to the right fathers, so be very careful in using this information. I haven't been able to verify much of this information, which was probably only held in family bibles, and the memories of old-timers interviewed several years ago. McArthur was not a common name in Prince County; based on the number of McArthurs in Prince County by 1881, it is possible that most of these McArthurs descended from Hugh.

Hugh McArthur was said to have arrived on PEI on the Annabella in 1770, but as there are no contemporary passenger lists, he and his family could have been on one of the other vessels carrying Scottish settlers to the Island around that time. The Annabella left from Campbeltown or Kintyre in Argyll and Bute.

I've given an estimate for Hugh's date of birth. There was only one Hugh, baptized in Killadoon, Argyl, in 1735, the son of Gilbert. in Scotland Births and Baptisms - however, not every record has survived, and not all children were baptized. No likely marriage record was found for Hugh, either, although undocumented family trees give a few possible names. Hugh may have had more than one wife, and was probably married before he left Scotland - son Alexander was supposed to have been born in Scotland, but nothing near these names was found in old parish records on the Scotland's People website.

Hugh was definitely on the Island by 1775, the date of a land conveyance record in Princetown for a Hugh Mcarthur from Phillips Callbeck on 19 September 1775. On January 20 1789, Hugh McCarther, Yeoman, signed a lease with the landlord Sullivan for 100 acres in Lot 16 near the western banks of Richmond Bay.

It is assumed that he is the Hugh McCarter in the 1798 census of PEI in Lot 16, with 2 boys under 16, and 5 males between 16-60, and two women between 16-60, so Hugh was born after 1738. The only other McArthur/McCarter in Prince County was Alex, in nearby Lot 14 who was possibly his son. Alex's household consisted of 3 boys under 16, one male between 16-60, 1 girl under 16 and one woman between 16-60.

With such a census, it is hard to know for certain if this was one family, or if Hugh was living with a married son, or even if he was married or a widower.

Local histories and family trees will sometimes have the name of Hugh's wife, but these are guesses with no records to back them up (Flora Gillis, born 1740 on Prince Edward Island seems problematic). However, there seems to be agreement that Hugh's sons were Alexander (1765), Hugh (1779), William John (? 1780), James (1781), Malcolm (1783), Neil (1785), and Gilbert (1788). William John is the only child who left no records. The gap between Alexander and Hugh might mean there were additional children, or that Hugh had a second wife by 1779.

Put against the 1798 census, and based on other records, Hugh, James , Malcolm, and Neil would be the 4 sons between 16-60, leaving Gilbert and the mysterious William John in the under 16 category. The two women in the household could have been Hugh's wife and a daughter, or daughter-in-law.

The McArthurs were not on a sketch of Lot 13 made in 1793, but a map dated 1808 has Neil and Hugh McArthur in Lot 13. Around the same time in Lot 14, a map shows farms of Malcolm, Alexander and Gilbert. Hugh McArthur and Dougald were engaged in land transactions in Lot 14 between 1815 and 1816. A map of the Sullivan estate, Lot 16, show two properties under the name Hugh McArthur, and one under Gilbert.

In the mid 1820s, Gilbert McArthur (1824-1828), Hugh McArthur (1823-1828) and James McArthur were paid, probably for work, on the estate of Daniel Campbell, Lot 16.

There were only two McArthurs, James and Malcolm, in Lot 12 Prince County, in the incomplete 1841 PEI census. The only lots covered by this census in this area were Lots 7-10, 12, 19, 21-23. The 1848 census is also not available for Prince County. The dates of settlement on the 1846 rent roll for Lot 13 were 1820 for Gilbert, possibly 1822 for Neil, and 1820 for Malcolm McArthur. There was a note that Gilbert was expected to leave.

There were entries in the 1861 census for some of these McArthurs, with the exception of Malcolm. (parts of Lot 14 seem to be missing in the 1861 census) There might have been an entry for a Mrs. McArthur, and what looks like "Mrs. M. McArthur" on the Lakes map of 1862/63, but it would be difficult to say for sure if this was Malcolm's widow and family, or possibly a Wm. McArthur.

With at least 7, and possibly 8, boys in Hugh's family, it seems likely that almost all of the mainly Protestant McArthurs in the Prince County 1861 census were related. Certainly, there are many similarities in the names they gave to their children.

The son that I have the most issues with is "William John" - he left no trace, at all - except that some of the McArthur descendants named a son William or John, but not Hugh. for some reason, the names Hugh and Malcolm became less common in this family.

Possible signature of Hugh, or his son Hugh, on a petition, sometime between 1824-1831

In 1861:
Lot 4
Mathias - one single male between 21-45

Lot 7
Neil - one married couple and 4 children in Lot 7, 2 years into their lease
Hugh - one couple with 7 children, Bible Christians
Duncan - one married couple, and one older woman; one birth and one death in the last year, 2 years into the lease. 3 Methodists, 1 Bible Christian
Cornelius - one married couple and 2 single women, 2 years elapsed in the lease
Isaac - one single man

Lot 8
George - 3 people, 1 married couple and one child born in the last year

Lot 12
Peter - one couple and 2 single people; 1 Presbyterian and 3 Bible Christians
William - one couple and 2 single; 13 years into the lease
Nathaniel - one single man
James #1 - one couple, 7 single, 7 years elapsed in lease
James #2 - one couple, 4 single; 12 years elapsed in lease

Lot 13
Alex #1 - one couple and 2 single males; one male over 60
Alex#2 - one couple and 5 singles; 1 birth in the past year; 2 years into 999 yr. lease
William - one couple and 2 single; 7 years elapsed in 999 years lease? (ditto marks used by census taker)
Neil - one couple and 10 single; 20 years into a 999 years lease? (ditto marks; held 200 acres freehold) - land conveyance record to a Neil McArthur in 1841.

Lot 16
James -married couple and 4 single people; one birth in the past year; 5 years into a 100 year lease; 1 Presbyterian and 5 Catholics
Gilbert - one couple and 4 children; 21 years into 100 years lease for 56 acres; 6 Baptists

Unless otherwise noted, all were farming and all were Presbyterians.

By the time of the 1881 census, there were about 250 McArthurs in Prince County, a reasonable number of descendants for one couple who arrived on the Island about 100 years earlier, and who had about 5-6 sons.

Other McArthurs:
There were gravestones for John McArthur (1826-1911), Ann McArthur (1827-1900), Dougald McArthur (1821-1862), William McArthur, Neil McArthur (1805?-1885?), Nathaniel McArthur (1828-1888).

Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 73 Number 980
Date April 22 1889 County Westmorland Place Moncton Newspaper The Times
d. Tyne Valley, P.E.I., 6th inst., Alexander McARTHUR, 90th year. In his early youth, the means of travel were round the shores of the river and by blazed pathways through the woods. (This date of birth, 1799, makes it more likely that he was a grandson of the first Hugh Mcarthur, not his son Alexander)

Name: McArthur - family name on the Annabella
Arrival Year: 1770
Arrival Place: Prince Edward Island
Annotation: Taken from "The Commissioners' Reports, Boston Records, vol. 29, Doc. 100, in the Massachusetts Historical Association, Boston, Mass., U.S.A." Contains short lists from eight voyages. Page 15 records some names of passengers, 1770-1774, to Island of St. J
Source Bibliography: "VARIOUS SAILINGS FROM SCOTLAND to Boston between 1716 and 1766." In The Scottish Genealogist, vol. 7:4 (Oct. 1960), pp. 14-15.
Page: 15









Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth about 1740 Scotland 1798 census; under 60, but with sons in the over 16 category  
Death before 1841 Lot 16, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada based on age; not in the 1841 census; assume he died in Lot 16  


Family of McArthur, Hugh and Unknown

Married Wife Unknown ( * + ... )
Name Birth Date Death Date
McArthur, William John
McArthur, Alexander - Lot 14about 1765before 1851
McArthur, Malcolm - Lot 12about 1775before 1861
McArthur, Neil - Lot 12about 17761844
McArthur, Hugh - Lot 16about 1780before 1861
McArthur, Gilbert - Lot 13about 1788before 1861