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Old March 5th, 2017, 01:10 PM   #1

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Armada descendants in Scotland and Ireland


Apart from hearsay and tradition, what evidence is there that shipwrecked sailors and soldiers from the Spanish Armada of 1588 produced descendants in Ireland or Scotland?

How early are the traditions? Has there been any genetic markers detected? Does archaeology provide any corroborating evidence?
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Old March 5th, 2017, 04:01 PM   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moros View Post
Apart from hearsay and tradition, what evidence is there that shipwrecked sailors and soldiers from the Spanish Armada of 1588 produced descendants in Ireland or Scotland?

How early are the traditions? Has there been any genetic markers detected? Does archaeology provide any corroborating evidence?
I find hard to believe that their numbers had a significant impact on the population of Scotland of Ireland. They were survivors from shipwrecks, it was not a migration.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 04:20 PM   #3

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IIRC there is a portion of Celts with naturally black hair witch isn't a gene that exists in northern Europe
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Old March 6th, 2017, 12:58 AM   #4

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IIRC there is a portion of Celts with naturally black hair witch isn't a gene that exists in northern Europe
Weren’t the territories that today belong to Ireland and Scotland inhabited long before the arrival of a *cultural* group that we call “Celts”?
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Old March 6th, 2017, 02:04 AM   #5

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I think common practice was to kill them, more out of fear than anything else. In an area with no soldiers/militia to suddenly find soldiers washing up on your shoreline. In more secure areas they were handed to the authorities and probably traded for British people.

Not likely that people just belnded into a foreign country, nor that there were too many survivors of shipwrecks.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 02:33 AM   #6

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Years ago, my friend, who was very Irish looking, used to say the black haired Irish were descendants of those sailors - as compared to the red haired ones. What I have learned over the years is that black hair is common among descendants of the Celts. The red hair is likely a trait of Viking invasions. So, I believe there is little truth to the shipwrecked sailor theory.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 05:10 AM   #7

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You have to imagine yourself not being able to swim, on a crowded sailing warship, probably with rotten timbers, being tossed around in storms and crashing into extremely sharp rocks, probably in the dark.

These sort of scenarios usually resulted in the loss of all hands, and while we do have accounts of survivors being massacred on the Irish coast - they aint enough to change history.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 08:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by johnincornwall View Post
I think common practice was to kill them, more out of fear than anything else. In an area with no soldiers/militia to suddenly find soldiers washing up on your shoreline. In more secure areas they were handed to the authorities and probably traded for British people.

Not likely that people just belnded into a foreign country, nor that there were too many survivors of shipwrecks.
From memory I believe James VI did order local officials to give no aid to any Spaniards landing on shore. James had English opinion to keep on side. I would be very surprised if many(or indeed any?) descendants were alive in Scotland. I can't comment on Ireland.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 05:30 PM   #9

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it's possible. But if it were a handful of sailors who got washed up, or protected by some family in Skye, or even a clan in the Isle of Arran or something, they would have kept quiet since they had no real scope to go back to Spain. it's possible if they were accepted into a clan that they would intermarry and have children, but then the Iberian DNA would not be that significant amongst millions of Scots and Irish today.

but then they discovered African DNA in Yorkshire, and from 2000 years ago, so we know possibly Roman soldiers possibly bred with Celts, who became Anglicised once Deira/Northumbria took root, and then Anglo-Norsified once Jorvik came into being. So if this can happen, so can Spanish sailors in Scotland and Ireland.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 06:20 PM   #10

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Originally Posted by Davetron the great View Post
IIRC there is a portion of Celts with naturally black hair witch isn't a gene that exists in northern Europe
There have always been dark-haired Celts.

The Silures, a Celtic tribe who lived in southwest Wales around the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, were famous for their black hair.

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The red hair is likely a trait of Viking invasions. So, I believe there is little truth to the shipwrecked sailor theory.
Red hair has always been present in the British isles as well, or at least as long as people have been writing about it. The Caledonians were as famous for being gingers as the Silures were for being dark-haired.

In short, anything about Vikings or Spanish sailors or any other new arrival in the last 2,000 years bringing a particular hair color to the British Isles is a popular myth.

Last edited by Scaeva; March 6th, 2017 at 06:26 PM.
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