GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-06 > 1181789824
Subject: Re: [DNA] The People of the Lightning: Fir Bolg and Belgae
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 22:57:04 EDT
In a message dated 6/13/2007 8:50:05 P.M. Central Standard Time,
The Vortigern link Quinn provided was interesting and goes to other August
Hunt articles that may clear up R1b1c7 somewhat. Gwrgwst or Gwrwst of
Bartrum's "Coel Hen or Coel Godebog" pedigree "has been shown to be Fergus Mor,
father of Domangart, the founder of Scottish Dalriada....[Hunt]" This would
give Welsh R1b1c7 families of Dunn, Evans, and Powel a common ancestry with
R1b1c7 House of Lorn families McPherson, McClain, McNab, McNitt, and undoubtedly
many others, from Erc son of Eochaid Munremar.
I have a little problem with this, for a couple of reasons. The line of
Fergus Mor of the Scottish Dal Riata is Erainn or Belgae by pedigree - which may
or may not mean much. But there is a confused version of Dal Riata history
which links said Fergus Mor to the line of the Ui Neill.
Secondly, our only source for determining which Scottish families are Dal
Riata is an old pedigree in Irish ms. (Rawlinson B.502) which traces the line of
the King of Scotland to Erc, son of Eochaid Munremair. O'Rahilly tells us
the pedigree is Erainn or Belage. It does at some point merge with the
basic pedigree of the Ui Neill in Ireland, but so far back as to be completely
meaningless. In more modern ms. the only document which purports to delineate
the descent of Dal Riata clans is Skene's ms. 1467. It is the basis for
every clan history written since Skene's time and first published in Skene's own
works. This manuscript of Skene (which he apparently found in the possession
of the Maclachlans of Argyllshire) is the only surviving Scottish ms. with
pedigrees. There is nothing prior to this except various clan histories in
which the spokesmen for various clans claimed histories for themselves. Most
that I've read just claim they were old stoke or descended from the first
Irish settlers in Dal Riata. Some were more fabulous in nature, claiming a
descent from Normans in France or from various Irish tribes (not all of them Ui
In short there is nothing in the pedigrees to indicate that the Dal Riata
were Ui Neill or R1b1c7.
I have Skene's pedigrees listed on my own Clan McLaughlin web site. There
are two versions, one in his famous MS. 1467, described in depth in his
"HIghlands of Scotland," and a second version in an Appendix to "Celtic Scotland."
The two do not always agree, because Skene compared the pedigrees in the MS.
1467 to versions appearing in Irish MS. and was persuaded that the Irish
versions were superior.
You can find Skene's MS. 1467 here:
And his Celtic Scotland pedigrees here:
When Skene first published his pedigrees it caused shockwaves among the
Scottish clans, many of whom to this day do not accept the pedigrees. The main
problem seems to have been that it linked certain clans by descent which the
current clan historians knew nothing about. For some it contradicted their
own "fabulous" pedigrees they had long accepted as genuine. One suspicious
feature of the MS. 1467 pedigrees is that nearly every tribe is connected to the
Tribe of Loarn, which is odd, since the Senchus Fir nAlban mentions three
large tribal units all descended from Fergus Mor, Angus or Loarn, with
territories ascribed to each. Secondly none of the pedigrees connect any of the
tribes to the ancient Picts of Scotland.
Skene's pedigrees include only the following families linked to the Cenel
IV. Clans supposed to be descended from
the Kings of Dal Riada in Scotlad
1. Clan Duff (Genealach Clann dubh)
2. MacNachtan (Genelach mic Neachtain)
3. Clan an Toshach here, viz. the Glan Gillachatten (Do Genelach Clann an
i. Clann Gillacatan) or MacIntosh.
4. Clan Millony or Clan Cameron (Genelach Clann Maelanfhaigh)
5. MacLeans (Genealach Mhic Gilleoin)
6. Clan Lawren here (Genealoach Clann Labhran Anso)
7. Clan Ay (Genealoach Clann Aid Anso) McKay of Kintire
8. Genealogy of the Clan (Genealach Clann Ainnrias)
9. Clan Kenneth (Genealach Ceann Cainnig)
10. Mathesons (Genealach mhic Matgamna)
11. MacDuffy (Genealach mhic Duibsithi Anso)
12. MacNabs (Do Genealach Mhic an Aba Egne)
13. Clan Gregor (Genealach Clann Grigair) MacGregor
14. Clan Quarry (Do Genealach Clann Guaire)
15. MacKinnons (Mhic Fingaine)
16. MacMillans (Genealach Mhic Gilla Maoil)
This list, from Celtic Scotland, omits a few clans from the MS. 1467, mostly
notably the Stewarts, given a descent from Mugh Nuadat in Ireland.
But my purpose in doing this was to show how vague the evidence is on the
descent of the Dal Riatic clans in Scotland and none of it (except for a
pedigree of the King of Scotland) appears in any manuscript dated prior to the
It seems to me, if some Dal Riata clans are R1b1c7, based on a descent from
Fergus Mor, son of Erc, than all of the above clans said to be Dal Riata in
the only surviving Scottish manuscript should also test R1b1c7, or at least the
chiefs and a large portion of clan members should. But this doesn't seem
to be the case. The Clan McGregor DNA study has almost no R1b1c7 and the
chiefs are something else. I don't know about the rest of the Scottish clans
listed here. I do know from perusing a few Scottish DNA clan web sites that
R1b1c7 pops up occasionally in certain clans, including the Robertsons. I just
looked through the McLean/McLaine DNA page on FTDNA and see very few if any
McLeans who are R1b1c7.
I have no idea how widespread R1b1c7 really is among the highlands clans.
That might make an interesting study if anyone would care to pursue it.
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