Q1. What has motivated you to chose this particular topic?
A1. The history of the area today known as Scotland has a rich history of expansion, war, and culture. Ever since I was little I have know that my last name, Graham, was of strong Scottish origin. When I was first introduced to Genealogy, the study of ancestral family, I went crazy. I Immediately traced my family back to the European countries of Germany, France, Ireland, Wales, the Netherlands, and England. These places made up a large portion of my heritage, but my Scottish roots outnumbered all the other countries many times over. The majority of the lines of my family tree, including the Grahams, trace back to Scotland. I even had a heritage test that confirmed my findings. This encouraged me to get to know my roots more in depth, and so I began to research the land of the Scots. I soon found that the Grahams come from around Lake ...view middle of the document...
Most clans of Scotland don’t have many clear beginnings, meaning there is no exact answer. Most myths behind the formation of Scotland’s clan system is centralized on the idea of prominent families controlling areas of land in Scotland. Certain families, such as the Campbell’s, Bruce’s, or MacIntosh’s rose to political power. Each clan had a tartan that is intrinsic to themselves. This brings up the question, “What is the importance of tartan, and where did it come from?” The tartans of Scotland originated in the region of Caledonia. Caledonia is what Romans referred to the region of Scotland around 80 AD. They took woven wool skirts, then dyed them into patterns. The tartan evolved into a way for clans to express their patriotism. Finally, I was confused as to, “how are the highland and lowland clans are different?” The obvious answer to this is geography, but there are cultural aspects as well. Lowland clans act more as one unit, and act as the runners of the kingdom of Scotland. Highland clans are very different. They are all little bit more “unruly.” Historically, highland clans view themselves as independent entities. They are the source of the stereotypical feuds you hear constantly about in movies or in history books.
Q3. What did you find most interesting about the information you learned?
A3. There were many interesting pieces of information I learned as I researched the clans of Scotland. Scotland was originally inhabited by a celtic people called the Picts. The Picts inhabited a country called Pictland and operated as one Country, with no clan system. It wasn’t until later that the gaelic Scots came over to the island of Great Britain from Northern Ireland. The Scots slowly conquered Pictland and created a new country called Alba, or Scotland. It was the Scots from Ireland who originally started the clan system.
Q4. What is something you read that contradicts what you thought you knew?
A4. Before reading up on the clan system of Scotland, I initially believed that the clan system has since died out after the Jacobite Rebellion, but it seems that that is not the case.