Post by elaich
I'm an American, mostly Scots-Irish from North Carolina. Is there any such
thing as brown eyes in the Scots racial genes?
Let me guess - someone told you that you can't be Scots as you have
Or even that your brown eyes suggest an African origin?
An examination of the Scottish people's origins by John A Duncan of
Sketraw, KCN, FSA Scot.
For myself, I have blue eyes, jet black eyebrows and brown hair (now
white). My wife had red hair and green eyes.
My uncle had black hair and blue eyes, but my mother was a blue-eyed
blonde. My father was blue-eyed and had brown hair. All that is
probably the result of the mixing of the many peoples who now call
themselves Scots, but who are composed of black-haired Picts, blond
Danes, Jutes, Saxons Norwegians and dark-haired Irish Celts. No one in
our family has brown eyes.
The reality is that Scots are a mixture of all the people who settled,
invaded or wandered into Scotland.
Many southern Scots are actually Celts, while those on the east coast
tend to be of Germanic origin, or are part of small groups which
settled in eastern Scotland, such as the Beaker People, abot which
little is known apart from their beaker pottery and the fact that many
have wide, broad skulls; which can still be seen in the natives of
In other words, we're a dog's breakfast, but it only takes one brown-
eyed ancestor to pass on that gene and give you brown eyes. The very
fact that you are of Scots-Irish descent makes you as Scottish as any
The other nice thing about Scots is that most of us are colour-blind
and in my youth I knew two men of clearly African origin whose
ancestors were Scots - MacKenzies - and were accepted without comment.
I also know several Scottish families whose wives are Chinese and
whose children are therefore part Scots and part Chinese. Indeed, one
of their daughters - a wee darling, borrowed $10 from me a week ago
and I haven't seen it back yet - the blood runs true!
Indeed, because Scots are great wanderers, there are people of many
nationalities who are of Scottish descent.
The largest numbers are to be found in the former British colonies -
the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, but there are
large numbers with Argentinian and other South American passports.
Indeed, if you ever travel to Russia, you could even attend a meeting
of the Gaelic Society of Moscow, or if in Argentina you could visit
the University of Buenos Aires' Department of Scottish Affairs and sit
in on a Gaelic lesson. Almost any country you might visit in South
America will have a Scottish society and a local bagpipe band, and if
you want to hear Gaelic spoken, some 200 families in Patagonia will be
happy to welcome you in that language.
If you ever visit Paris, you can meet many people of Highland descent,
whose ancestors settled there to avoid being executed by the English
after Culloden. They have their own church in Central Paris and
occasionally sermons are preached in Gaelic.
My mother met a Scot in the heart of Borneo who made his living
repairing the outboard motors of the local Dyak headhunters. My mother
met him because a local chief asked her where she came from and she
said she was Scottish. The Chief asked, "You a Jock?" "I suppose so,"
said my mother and the chief beamed and said, "We got a Jock!" and
took her to meet the outboard repairer, who, said my mother, was
deeply involved in drinking fermented palm wine and was barely able to
If you want to meet people of Scots descent, Canada is filled with
them, some of whom still speak Gaelic.I have also met many natives in
Canada who have Scots ancestors. I once met six native women, all of
whom had red hair and a Scottish ancestor! Indeed, in 1998 and 1999, a
large group of native Canadians - some 40,000 if memory serves - went
to Orkney and Shetland to meet their families; a event which was
apparently a great and emotional success!
So if you are worrying about having brown eyes, don't panic! You're
far from being alone. It is estimated that there are some 50 million
people of Scots descent living all over the world, especially in the
US, and there must be hundreds of thousands with brown eyes! I can
vouch for at least 12 brown-eyed Scots - members of the Cherokee
tribe, all descended from a common Highland ancestor; who asked me to
help them create a bagpipe band! I got them in touch with a well-known
bagpipe maker in the western Highlands.
In Glasgow there is a well-known saying, "We're aa Jock Tamson's
bairns". (We're all Jock Thomson's children".) In other words, we
Scots are all related; whether brown-eyed or blue.