Here’s a link to an article that appeared a couple of days ago at the website of the Scotsman newspaper. It’s written by Alistair Moffat (co-author of The Scots: A Genetic Journey) and deals with a number of DNA-related topics. Alistair begins by looking at the Strathclyde Britons, a group whose history is of particular interest to me. He mentions two iconic sites associated with this people: Clach nam Breatainn, the ‘Stone of the Britons’ in Glen Falloch beyond the northern tip of Loch Lomond; and the ancient stronghold of Dumbarton (Dun Breatainn, ‘Fortress of the Britons’) on the north bank of the Clyde. He also mentions the Galbraiths, a leading family of the area around the loch, whose surname means something like ‘Stranger Briton’. Other families referred to in the article include the MacFarlanes of Arrochar, the MacDonalds and MacLeods of the Isles, the Kennedys of Galloway and the royal Stewarts whose forefather was Walter FitzAlan, High Steward of Scotland. Alistair even brings in a bit of his own history by recalling the days when he played rugby in the Scottish Borders against tough opponents called Beattie – a surname whose genetic origins go back to the Irish kings of Leinster. As an extra bonus, the article is headed by an excellent photograph of the Falls of Falloch in full spate.
Scotland’s DNA: Land of the Britons by Alistair Moffat
[I am grateful to Phil Ramsay for bringing this article to my attention]
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