Author Topic: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!  (Read 10537 times)

Offline Gibson1900

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Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« on: Wednesday 28 December 11 20:07 GMT (UK) »
The Scott line of my ancestors hailed from Shetland and I have traced them back as far as into the seventeenth century. According to family legend, some of them had "dark hair and swarthy skin." I don't suppose anyone has ever heard of this occurrence in Shetland? Some of the family were not Scottish, but came from somewhere else, after their ship, which was emigrating to America, was wrecked - supposedly at Vaila Sound. This would seem to indicate the Bachelor of Leith, but according to all the records, everyone in our family tree was born in Shetland and certainly all have Shetland names (this ship was sailing from Caithnes and Sutherland in 1774). Also, I was wondering if the ancestors with dark hair and swarthy skin could have been descended from sailors of the Spanish Armada??

The member of the family who is said to have been shipwrecked has been potentially identified as Lilias Bain, born in 1760 and married to Peter Peterson, but again this has still to be independently verified...

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Offline Kin-getter

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Re: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 04 January 12 01:51 GMT (UK) »
Hullo, and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

I'm an annual visitor to Shetland and I've heard from 'locals' that yes, sailors of the Spanish Armada did land in Shetland, plus Orkney, Caithness, and Sutherland.

Scott is not an unusual surname there in Shetland, around 40 in the phonebook alone.

James.


Ayrshire: Craig, Orr.

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Offline elinga

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Re: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 04 January 12 09:59 GMT (UK) »
here is some information regarding the El Gran Grifon which was shiprecked on Fair Isle in 1588  ,            http://shetlopedia.com/El_Gran_Grifon
also here is the link for Shetland Family history society.
http://www.shetland-fhs.org.uk/ 
good luck
Elinga
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Orr, Adair, McCafferty,McCrorie and McCrory, Millar,Strachan, Lewis,Linn, Arnott, Scott,Kerr,McKinnon , Jeffrey or Jaffrey,Lambie, Findlay and Meechan Ayrshire Scotland.

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 04 January 12 12:05 GMT (UK) »
I think the Spanish thing is largely mythology. Many Scots are swarthy, we're a very mixed breed. Shetland has been settled by Scots since before it was aquired by the Scottish crown. Scott is a common  name in the Borders and there are Shetland landowners of that origin.

Skoosh.

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 04 January 12 12:58 GMT (UK) »
I think the Spanish thing is largely mythology. Skoosh.

Isn't there a similar story relating to the Irish?

Maybe a DNA test would give you some pointers as to whether this is truth or fiction?  :).

Offline Chris Anderson

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Re: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 06 August 17 12:35 BST (UK) »
I traced my family history back to Shetland too. 17th century. 

My family are all (even today) blessed with very dark hair, dark eyes and swarthy skin. Especially the males. This is very curious indeed.

Offline sallyyorks

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Re: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 06 August 17 12:58 BST (UK) »
Not sure why people from the Shetlands wouldn't have 'dark hair and swarthy skin' in particular.

I had an in law who was extremely dark and swarthy, as were his parents, and his family were from rural North Yorkshire going back centuries. All the lines in the tree had local surnames commonly found in the local parish registers.

One of my own lines, ag labs from the rural areas around York, were very dark and swarthy too.

The singer Bjork is from Iceland and she is quite dark.

England
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Gardner

Offline wee Hugh

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Re: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 06 August 17 15:46 BST (UK) »
I understand the gene pool in Iceland is largely Celtic.  The Vikings took slaves in Scotland and Ireland on the way there; they saw themselves as colonial farmers rather than permanent settlers, and tended to return to mainland Scandinavia when they reached retiring age, leaving their 'slaves' behind.  Those were more like indentured servants, who were generally well treated and often rewarded for faithful service with a gift of land.  Of course they were required to speak the Norse language, which has changed much less than the other Scandinavian languages.

I admit I haven't done a DNA analysis, but the distribution of blood groups in Iceland is much more similar to that in Ireland than in Scandinavia.

The Picts (as opposed to the Scots, who were Irish) were very possibly pre-Celtic settlers and could have been swarthy.  The pre-Celtic folk in Ireland are sometimes referred to as Iberian.  Though I feel the Iberian peninsula may have been only a staging post -- perhaps for a generation -- on a migration route taken by some seafaring Mediterranean adventurers (Phoenicians?, Trojans?, Carthaginians?).

The gene for blue eyes is recessive, for fair hair too I think, so the darker variants will tend to persist in a population.
Bagwell of Kilmore & Lisronagh, Co. Tipperary;  Beatty from Enniskillen;  Brown from Preston, Lancs.;  Burke of Ballydugan, Co. Galway;  Casement in the IoM and Co. Antrim;  Davison of Knockboy, Broughshane;  Frobisher;  Guillemard;  Harrison in Co. Antrim and Dublin;  Jones around Burton Pedwardine, Lincs.;  Lindesay of Loughry;  Newcomen of Camlagh, Co. Roscommon;  Shield;  Watson from Kidderminster;  Wilkinson from Leeds

Offline Chris Anderson

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Re: Shetlanders with "dark hair and swarthy skin"?!
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 06 August 17 16:49 BST (UK) »
It does seem like the Celtic parts of Britain are the most swathy

Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta Jones etc The Welsh in particular are quite dark featured I find

Maybe this is what Britons looked like before Anglo Saxon and other influences