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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886532107

From: Gordon Johnson <>
Subject: early Picts
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 18:55:07 +0000

Linda posted this from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles:

Here is the beginning: "The island of Britain is eight hundred
miles long and two hundred miles broad. Here on this island are
five languages: English, Brito-Welsh, Scottish, Pictish, and
Latin. The first inhabitants of this land were the Britons,
who came from Armonica, and at first occupied the south of
Britain. Then it happened that the Picts came from Scythia in
the south, with longships, not many, and came at first to
Northern Hibernia [Northern Ireland]. They asked the Scots
if they might live there, but they would not let them, because
they said that they could not all live together there. The
Scots said, "We can give you advice, nevertheless; we know of
another island east of here where you may dwell if you wish,
and if anyone withstands you, we will help you, so that you may
accomplish it." Then the Picts went into this land, to the
north, and in the south the British had it. The Picts asked for
wives from the Scots and this was granted on the condition that
their royal ancestry always be traced from the woman's side; they
have long since held to this. After some years it happened that
some of the Scots went from Hibernia to Britain and overcame
part of the land. Their war-leader was named Reoda, and because
of him they are called Daelreodi."
Interesting, but not much more than mediaeval hearsay, Linda.
Archaeology keeps showing that these islands were inhabited by fairly
civilised people thousands of years ago, before any documented arrival by
others from elsewhere.
Here in Aberdeenshire we have a site which had a large barn, evidenced by
the wooden postholes, dated to around 6,000 years ago. So we had civilised
people living here that far back.
Most of the non-Irish records of early Britain are of the type where the
writer retells stories which he has heard, and anyone researching their
ancestry soon finds that a lot of stories from even a century ago are
pretty wild of the mark!
"Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers", compiled by Allan O. Anderson,
includes quotations from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and adds the comment:
"This annal seems highly improbable as regards Scotland."(page 11, note 1).
My own opinion is that the population was so low that newcomers probably
arrived in small groups from various places, and were assimilated, so that
you would need to have blood tests on many people throughout Scotland to
test out any hypothesis of large-scale movement from elsewhere.

Gordon Johnson, Aberdeen, Scotland.
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