Recorded in a wide range of spellings including MacGruar, MacGruer, McGrouther, McGrowther, McGruder, McGrudder, McGruthar, McRither and others this is a Scottish and Gaelic surname, and one which is also encountered in Ireland, and mainly in Ulster. It derives from the pre 10th century "Macgrudaire" which translates as the son of the Brewer, and is also recorded as Grewer and Grewar. It is said that the name was originally to be found in Perthshire, although the Clan MacGruar known as the Macgruers of the North, are part of Clan Frazer in the Highlands. The earliest known recording is probably that of Gilawne McCrouder, in 1447 when he witnessed a land charter to John de Cumre, whilst in 1494 Donald McGruer was also a charter witness in favour of Thomas Stewart of Grantully. John McGruder of Blainrowar was recorded in 1613, of having the occupation of "phedgeour" or arrow maker. It seems that he was using his skills for the purpose of supporting the banned and exiled Clan MacGregor, and was heavily fined for his pains. It is interesting that arrow making still survived at this date, as it is often claimed that the "bow" had disappeared from use a century before.
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