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  1. #1
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    7% Scot, 87% Irish; What Would You Do?

    New to the idea of a kilt but I just got off an Alaskan cruise and saw more than a few guys in kilts for formal night. Now, obviously, Iíve got great knees so, naturally, my thoughts drifted to a kilt. My mind works that way.

    Anyhow, my Ancestry DNA says 7% Scot, 87% English/Irish, and 6% Swedish (Vikings, I suppose). So, I canít claim a clan or anything... What do I do as far as a pattern, etc? Donít want to step on any toes by wearing the wrong thing resulting in a cross-examination I canít withstand.

  2. #2
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    You can wear any fashion tartan or club tartan, and frankly so long as you have some sort of reasoning, you can "get away" with just about any tartan at all. If you're mostly Irish, green or saffron kilts are pretty normal or there are Irish county tartans that Rocky registered, or the Irish heritage tartan. I think I remember a California tartan for that matter.

    Having said all that, don't forget that DNA testing is notoriously vague and inaccurate, so if you have an affiliation to some part of Ireland or Scotland... Bob's your uncle!
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

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  4. #3
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    Welcome from Western Canada 🇨🇦!
    You raise a question that comes up regularly. Should a non-Scot let alone someone of non-Scottish ancestry wear a kilt? If you are not a Scottish citizen should you wear a kilt? Even if you are a Scot, if you are a low-lander should you wear a kilt? Should those of other Celtic nations (or ancestry) wear a kilt. Is a bifurcated garment not made of tartan a kilt? Now to get into more detail, should women wear kilts, or should you wear a tartan that is not your Clan tartan?
    Well, youíve come to the right place to hear membersí opinions on all of these burning question. Use the search feature to see what has been discussed in the past.
    Slaintť
    "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience
    well, that comes from poor judgement."
    A. A. Milne

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  6. #4
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    From Columba onward (and indeed no doubt before that) there was much back and forth between Scotland and Ireland. The open-palm hand of my clan crest - Lamont - has been suggested it be the Red hand of Ulster; and indeed I have seen some history which suggests that the Clan Lamont came for Scotland from Ireland around the 1200s.

    Water makes a better highway than a fence.

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotScot View Post
    my Ancestry DNA says 7% Scot, 87% English/Irish, and 6% Swedish (Vikings, I suppose).
    Just wondering, which testing service did you use?

    DNA testing, as best I understand how the mass-market tests are done, only tests a tiny fraction of our DNA. Unless they're looking for particular known markers, they might miss important things.

    So much Western European DNA is alike because people moved around and mixed so much over the millennia.

    They're always finding new things. My wife and I both did Ancestry.com and 23&me and 1) they show slightly different things and 2) they're constantly updating things.

    One issue is Scandinavian DNA. Large areas of Ireland and Britain had Viking settlements, and I do wonder how they differentiate between the Scandinavians that stayed in Scandinavia and the ones who didn't. You would have to find a mutation that occurred in a particular Viking settler; it would be found in all his Irish or British progeny but not back in his family's homeland.

    Your "87% English/Irish" puzzles me. I would think that they would be able to get more specific. With my wife, Ancestry.com was able to narrow her Irish DNA down to a small region in Ireland. With myself they were able to narrow some of my English DNA down to a small region in Cornwall (which I already knew about).

    As far as tartans go, House Of Edgar has been weaving tartans for all the Irish Counties since the 1980s. These tartans are nice-looking and are very popular. That's always a possibility if you can narrow it down to a County.

    Then there are Irish National tartans.

    Perhaps you could find out where that 7% Scots came from, if not what name, what area. There are a number of "District Tartans" for various regions of Scotland, plus various national Scottish tartans.

    There's DNA and there's your known family history. In my case I know the people who came from Ireland came from Cavan. Even if I didn't know that, I know their name was Glancy which has this distribution in the mid-19th century



    I'm in the same boat as you. My mixed ancestry gives, in truth, too many tartans rather than not enough! I would stand on fairly solid ground wearing

    Cavan (I'm 35% Irish, and I know about the Cavan branch, there could be others)

    Cornwall (it shows up on my DNA but my Cornish side was already well known to me)

    Arran (one branch supposedly came from Arran though I have no documentation)

    Stewart (I have numerous Stewart ancestors; it's complicated)

    West Virginia (where I'm from)

    California (where I live)

    to name a few.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 21st September 19 at 04:52 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  10. #6
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    We used Ancestry.com.

    While they do narrow the results periodically, my ďnarrowingĒ has only been to remove a trace of Iberian influence.

    I no longer have any family familiar with our English/Irish/Scots heritage. I may be at a dead-end as far as isolating actual areas or counties.

  11. #7
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    Interesting, my wife had an "Iberian" component, around 10%, which Ancestry.com has since eliminated.

    Here's my map, it's so cool how they have the West Virginia thing so clear. My family was the first European settlers on the headwaters of the Guyandotte, so no wonder they have a clear genetic mark.

    You can see the region in Cornwall one branch of my family is from, the most recent to come to America, in the 1880s.

    They say I have over 200,000 matching members from Cornwall and over 400,000 from southern West Virginia.

    (The Norway and Finland are only around 2%.)



    I'm sure yours will continue to get more specific as more people take the test.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  13. #8
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    I am not sure about DNA testing. Ancestry.com came out somewhat consistent with my familyís known genealogy to some extent.


    LivingDna was completely off of the mark. They had a huge German and Italian influence, and no French when my ancestry can be traced to early 1700ís and I have a family name of French Origin.

    Texas may have had German settlers but they are not in my family tree unless there was an unrecorded adoption.

    Differentiating Scottish from English can be tricky to say the least.

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  15. #9
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    So, Ancestry.com aside, I have tried to search for similar threads to answer my questions but not sure how to phrase it so my results were not helpful.

    Is the consensus that I should just pick a pattern I like or really, really try to get to the bottom of things, so to speak?

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  17. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotScot View Post
    So, Ancestry.com aside, I have tried to search for similar threads to answer my questions but not sure how to phrase it so my results were not helpful.

    Is the consensus that I should just pick a pattern I like or really, really try to get to the bottom of things, so to speak?
    I am new to having kilts. My momís side had lots of Russell, Wallace, a few others. I was hesitant to use Wallace because 3M uses it. I was unsure about Russell.

    I actually created my own tartan and got it registered, but that is an expensive route and takes a long time to get a kilt.

    In the meantime, I got a World Scout Jamboree tartan kilt and a couple of Flower of Scotland kilts.

    Unless you have genealogical data, treat the DNA with suspicion unless it connects you with long lost relatives that have the reliable genealogical data.

    I picked up Flower of Scotland because I liked it. In December, I will have a kilt in a personal tartan that I am fairly certain that I will be happy with.

    Later, I may get a Russell, but I think the personal and Flower Of Scotland will be favorites.

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