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Arthur Name Origins


"ARTHUR . G.Artair, MG Artuir, Eir. Artur, from Oir. art, a 'bear', W.arth. The name may point to early Celtic worship of the bear, whence Artogenos, 'son of Artos', W Arthgen (SGS., I, p. 11). The name occurs several times, both among the northern and southern Cymry at the close of the sixth and beginning of the seventh centuries. (Zimmer, Nennius Vindicatus, p. 284). Aedan mao Gabrain, king of Dalriata, whose mother was a British princess, named his eldest son Arthur, "the first Gael, so far as we know, to bear that name" (Watson I, p.129). Arthur of Kyncorth is mentioned in 1435 (RAA., II, p.69). Thomas Harthawr witnessed a commission of bailiary, 1511 (Panmure, II, 279). John Airtheor juror on retour of special service in Duns, Berwickshire, 1678 (Home , 194). "The fore-name Arthur is common in Shetland now (1879), but I rather think it is only a seventeenth or eighteenth century corrupt form of the Old Northern 'Ottar'. Last century, 'Otto' or 'Otho' or 'Ottie' was a frequent forename here; and now no case of it occurs. In our North Isles it has even been Judaised into 'Hosea", so that 'Otto Ottoson' was transmuted into 'Hosea Hoseason'- so written, but pronounced 'Osie Osieson' " (Arthur Laurenson in letter to Karl Blind, Nineteenth century, V, p. 1112). Arcthure 1686, Arthure 1530, Arthwire 1556. Chester Alan Arthur (1830 - 1886), twenty-first president of the United States, was son of a Belfast minister of Scottish descent."


from "The Surnames of Scotland" George F. Black 1993 ISBN 1 874744 07 6

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