Historical Gene Pools Reunited

Both Scottish (Highland) and Irish legends speak of an ancient homeland of mythic lore. From thence, these Gaels claim to have wandered around the Mediterranean Sea, until they landed in Ireland, with some clans later on moving up to the Highlands of Scotland. Legend or history, this mythic origin has come up from time to time in very important documents. For example, The Declaration of Arbroath, which states:

[W]e know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous.

The Declaration of Arbroath is not some arcane document of interest only to obsessive students of Scottish history. Rather, it is a detailed list of grievances the Scots had against the English.

[F]or, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours [sic] that we are fighting, but for freedom ... for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

These words inspired our American Declaration of Independence.

But I ask you to notice something. The Declaration of Arbroath makes reference to an original homeland in Greater Scythia.

Do not let that name fool you. Pronounce it with a hard c, like it was a k … Skythia. The -ia means ‘land of’.... hence, land of the Skyths. Of course, over a few thousand years of dialectal changes…. Skyth became Scot. By extension, using a German suffix (English is a Germanic language), -ia would become -land, and we have Skythland, or Scotland.

So who were the Scythians? The ancient Greeks described them as ‘red-haired.’

According to legend, they departed from the Scythian region, navigated the Mediterranean, and eventually landed in Spain – from there, they went on to Ireland.

Along that journey some intermingling occurred, and the highly recessive red-haired gene apparently gave away to the dominant genes. Yet, even to this day, Ireland and Highland Scotland have the highest rate of red-haired people in the world – the trait maxes out at around 10% of the Irish population, though 40% of the Irish still carry the gene, even if it is not expressed. Hence, the very common experience of brown-haired Gaels with red beards.

In Ireland, an estimated 10 percent of the population has red hair, though about 40 percent of the Irish carry the recessive gene. In Scotland and England, 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively, are redheaded, according to the Daily Mail. 

But now, here is the kicker. As this Guardian map shows, after Ireland and Scotland, the next highest concentration of redheads is not that far from the Ukraine.

Are the legends true? Did the Insular Celts come from Scythia?

Along the way, the Scythians picked up other names: Gaels – supposedly from an ancestor named Goídel Glas – and Scotti, which is an obvious reference to Scythia. The Romans turned the moniker “Scotti” into a synonym for ‘thief’ – a result of their raids into Roman territory. Around the 3rd – 5th century A.D., some of these Gaels (Scotti) landed in Alba (Scotland) and established a kingdom. The Irish and the Highland Scots coexisted peacefully for most of the time – the Battle of Moira being a major exception, but it determined the separation of Ireland and Scotland, with Ulster going to the Irish for a thousand years – at least until the English sent settlers in the 17th century. But the English were not Celts, and neither were the Lowlanders who accompanied them.

The Lowland Scots – do not let the name fool you, it referred to geography, not ancestry – were chiefly of English, Norman, Viking, and Danish extraction, and were as Germanic as the English, and felt hostility to the Highlanders whom they called the “Wild Irish.” To a certain extent this was true. The Highlanders spoke Gaelic, and were an Irish/Pictish mix. The Lowlanders might as well have been English, while the Highlanders might as well have been Irish.

Things may have worsened during the Reformation, but the Highlanders would still dispatch soldiers to help the Irish fight the English, while the Irish reciprocated – most notably during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. The wars were not so much Protestant vs. Catholic as the English claim, but rather Anglo vs. Celt.

In the most base of historical propaganda, the English liked to say that the Highlanders were Catholic; but the majority of them were Protestant by 1745, often Presbyterian. Yet, the Catholic Irish still helped the Highland rebellion out of Gaelic unity. Bonnie Prince Charles was no prize, but the Gaels of Ireland and Scotland detested the Germanic Hanovers of London, and Charles would concede a clannish and tribal religious freedom that London would not. The Celts lost at Culloden in 1746.

Yes, there were some exceptions, but the general rule holds. Intermarriage between the Highlanders and Lowlanders did not really take off until the 19th century. Prior to industrialization and migration to the cities, the Highlanders remained a distinct people.

So what happened?
The vast majority of Highlanders experienced ethnic cleansing during the Highland Clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, while the potato famine drove out a good portion of the Irish. The truth is that English land policies aggravated both flights, and the London government was not displeased to see the troublesome Celts leave. Some have even asked if the Highland Clearances and the Potato Famine had genocidal aspects to them.

So what has this got to do with today?

It turns out that some of the Ukrainian refugees have been sent to Ireland and Highland Scotland (yes, there are some Highlanders still left), where they are receiving a warm welcome. Two branches of the same greater family that separated a few thousand years ago have been reunited, albeit under tragic circumstances – but just look at them here and hereTell the truth, without a scorecard, some of those Ukrainians and Gaels are all but indistinguishable.

Over the millenia, some members of the Western branch (the Gaels) have picked up black hair from their ancient Mediterranean meanderings, while some of the Eastern branch mixed with Islamic peoples – but they still have similar rates of blue eyes. But through it all, they remained Christian. The Irish are Catholic, the Highlanders are Presbyterian, and the Ukrainians are Orthodox Christian/Catholic.

The Ukrainian temperament is like the Gaels – and all of them like to drink. Putin can expect centuries of trouble from them, just as the Irish and Highlanders gave to England.
These are the same people, ancient Scythians regathered. Ideally, this is how immigration should work. Bring in people who assimilate well.

What you are seeing is a family reunion in hard times. We here in America should pay attention. Sometimes, in the midst of awful events, God can use tragic circumstances for good. I suspect He is doing that now. 

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