The MacAlisters are a branch of Clan Donald. Their ancestor was Alister, descendant of the famous Somerled of the Isles. They were in Kintyre in the 14th century and later were numerous in Bute and Arran. In 1481 Charles MacAlister was Steward of Kintyre. His son, John, was called "John of the Loup", and his descendants are the principal family. Another branch, that of Tarbet, appears first in the 16th century, and became Constables of Tarbet Castle. The seat of the chief, MacAlister of the Loup and Kennox, is in Kennox, Ayrshire.