Monday, June 8, 2015

The Borders: A History of the Borders from Earliest Times

I am reading this book on Kindle.  The information is not something that I know much about, so I find it hard to follow some of the time.  But I pick up many good thoughts.  The one that I want to comment on tonight takes place after AD 410.  This is my interpretation of what I read.  You may want to read it for yourself.

 In AD 410 the Anglo-Saxon raiders were more than a thorn in the side of the cities of the area which had been founded by the Romans.  "The only organized elements of Roman government left were the cities. But in AD 410 their resources were thinning and they wrote to the legitimate emperor [of the Roman Empire], Honorius, to request help from Rome.  Beleaguered in Italy, he could do nothing, and he replied with the advice that the British cities had to look to their own defenses.  Honorius's letter is seen as the moment the Roman province of Britannia died....."

"In AD 870 the last of the British Kingdoms of the North fell.  The Damnonians of the Clyde Valley, first reported by Tacitus in AD 79, had evolved into the kingdom of  Aleut, the Rock of the Clyde.  Better known to us as Dumbarton, it was the seat of kings for at least 800 years, and probably longer."  In the spring of AD 870 the dragon-ships of the Vikings sailed from Dublin into the harbor.  They besieged the castle for four months.  They took the riches and also a great host of the people who were taken to Dublin to be sold in the slave markets.  "Slaving was perhaps the Vikings' most lucrative business..."  "The flower of Strathclyde's nobility was auctioned in Dublin..."

OK here comes the very interesting part for my Moore research group:

"The Welsh Chronicle of the Princes, the Brut Y Tywysogion, notes that in 890:  'The men of Strathclyde, those that refused to unite with the English, had to depart from their country, and go to Gwynedd.'
  The Strathclyde exiles were given land in the Vale of Clwyd in north-east Wales on condition that they expelled the English living there.  ....The stories were slowly absorbed into Welsh traditions, and after a time the Old North was thought by some to mean the North Wales, and the Gwyr Y Goggled, the Men of the North, became the men of Gwynedd.  But the genealogies and the stories did endure because they found a place in Welsh History...."

I interpret these pages to explain that there is a close DNA relationship between men found along the Clyde River and men found in Gwynedd in Wales.  When our Moore research group was chatting, it was mentioned that there was Moore family in Renfrew.  But we are unclear for a certainty if our James Moore (the immigrant to Philadelphia) was from Scotland or Wales.  You can finagle the below map in order to view Renfrew and Dumbarton and Glasgow.

It is January 2016 and I am still reading this book via kindle.  I am all the way up to 1603 when King James VI of Scotland  became King James I of England after Elizabeth I died with no heir.  Neither he nor Elizabeth I had had much success in controlling the border areas of their respective countries.  Border Reiving had been rampant in the late 1500s.  This book indicates that when James was in control of the entire lands, he made a huge campaign to wipe out the main Reiver leaders ....hanging....killing.....etc...and that many of them "escaped" to Northern Ireland in this time frame to escape being put to death.  These names would have been Armstrong, Maxwell, Elliott, .....among other family names.  Unlike names in Wales and Highland Scotland,  the border areas had surnames that were not given names prefixed with Mc or Ap  .....which is interesting.

He talks about the Cheviot Mountains and I want to add a map here to explain the land...also the information about the Galloway horses was particularly interesting....Can I find maps to show where various family lines moved in Ireland?  Were there indeed plantations?  Did James move some of them rather than extinguishing the lines via death....and I want to talk about Berwick.

While looking for information about the Galloway horses, I found the following site:


but I was unable to find any site that explained the Galloway as well as the author, Allistair Moffet did in this book.  The horse is now almost extinct.  It was bred with other breeds until there were very few pure Galloway's left.  The author says that there are some in Canada.  Since I am listening to the book rather than reading, I can not easily go back to double check.  But I think he said Newfoundland.

Berwick is explained quite well at this site:

and for a map, I borrowed the following from: