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When Scotland Was Jewish


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 When Scotland Was Jewish

DNA Evidence, Archeology, Analysis of Migrations, and Public and Family Records Show Twelfth Century Semitic Roots

By Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman and Donald N. Yates

ISBN 978-0-7864-2800-7

71 photos, charts, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
264pp. paperback (7 x 10) (February 2013)


The popular image of Scotland is dominated by widely recognized elements of Celtic culture. But could it be that a significant non-Celtic influence on Scotland’s history has been largely ignored or unknown for centuries? This book argues just such a case, maintaining that much of Scotland’s history and culture from 1100 forward is Jewish. The authors provide evidence that much of the population, including several national heroes, villains, rulers, nobles, traders, merchants, bishops, guild members, burgesses, and ministers, were of Jewish descent. They describe how the ancestors of these persons originated in France and Spain and then made their way to Scotland’s shores, moors, burgs and castles from the reign of Malcolm Canmore to the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition.

It is proposed here that much of the traditional historical account of Scotland rests on fundamental interpretive errors, and that these errors have been perpetuated in order to manufacture and maintain an origin for Scotland that affirms its identity as a Celtic, Christian society. This equation of Scotland with Celtic culture in the popular (and academic) imagination has buried a more accurate and profound understanding of its history.

The authors’ wide-ranging research includes examination of census records, archaeological artifacts, castle carvings, cemetery inscriptions, religious seals, coinage, burgess and guild member rolls, noble genealogies, family crests, portraiture, and geographic place names.

Table of Contents

Preface 1

1. The Origins of Scotland 3
2. DNA and Population Studies: “But Why Do You Think They Were Jewish?” 24
3. Genealogies of the First Wave of Jewish Families, 1100–1350 C.E. 44
4. Genealogies of the Second Wave of Jewish Families, 1350–1700 C.E. 71
5. The Early Jews of France, 700–1200 C.E. 79
6. When Did Jews Arrive in Scotland? 88
7. To Scotland’s Stirling, Ayr, and Glasgow 97
8. The Knights Templar, Freemasons and Cabala in Scotland 131
9. The Judaic Colony at Aberdeen 152
10. The Religions of Scotland: Did Presbyterianism Have Crypto-Jewish Origins? 192
11. Jews in the National Consciousness of Scotland: Scott’s Ivanhoe 205

Appendix A: Raw Scores for Participants in Melungeon DNA Surname Project 215
Appendix B: Naming and Jewish Priest-Kings 218
Appendix C: Early Jewish Names in France and England 220
Appendix D: Davidic Jewish Genealogies 229
Appendix E: Border Reiver DNA 232
Chapter Notes 233
Bibliography 247
Index 253

Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman
is a professor of marketing at

Rutgers University.

Donald N. Yates
is the founder

of DNA Testing Systems. He

lives in Phoenix. 

Praise for When Scotland Was Jewish

The authors' talents, learning, and specialized skills come together in a brilliant synthesis proving once again that the world we think we know is still very much terra incognita.  --Yael in Good Reads

Fascinating! The DNA evidence may be the clincher. —Ancestry Worship Genealogy  

Provocative and well worth reading. This volume will enrage some, puzzle others, and hopefully open some new avenues for thought and inquiry. --Geoffrey Brown

Fun to read and honest. —Arno Vosk

Watch video review of the book with Jewish Voice host Jonathan Bernis

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 Product Reviews
Some Scots ( with an aversion to pork ) were not unlike Native American Indians according to James Boswell and Samuel Johnson in 1772 and nobody generally gives a tinker damn for the Travelling community in Scotland or their history which is usually mixed up with gypsies from India



Peter, Scotland
I have read your book 'When Scotland was Jewish', I am Scottish both by birth at Aberdeen, and descent. I descend from the noble families: Campbells,Carnegies,Forbes, Frasers
Gordons, Leslies, Stuarts,
all the above families I descend from are the chiefly lines, and the Sims. The Royal House of Stewart/Stuart I descend from, including 34 different lines of descent from King Robert the Bruce who married Marjory Stewart.

Many thanks,

Fraser Dickson
The Jewish connection goes back even farther. For the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic peoples’ ancestry, believe it or not, goes back to the so-called “lost tribes of Israel”, whose location was not “lost” to Jesus’ apostles, to whom He commissioned them to preach the gospel (Matthew 10:5-6; 15:21-28; James 1:12; 4:1-3; 1 Peter 1:1). There's a reason the British enjoyed such success, just as there is for their evident downfall, and it has everything to with, to quote Sir Winston Churchill, a "design and purpose being worked out here below".
Stewart, Canada
I saw once on the Internet that my ancestor Thomas Elkinnah Flanary who came to America was a member of a Jewish clan in Scotland in the 1700's. Thought I bookmarked the page but can't find it again, Was wondering if you could tell me a better way to research this
Thomas Elkinnah Flanary, Glenfinnin, Scotland
August 1, 2011. By A. Bennett. After doing all the Y-dna, Mtdna and autosomal dna from Family Tree DNA I feel obliged to complement the author of this book. Seems there is a little Scottish Cluster that takes in a small percentage of many surnames in Scotland
and that originates with a Jewish priest about 60 generations ago. 30 years to a generation is 1800 years ago is 150 AD or even at the time of Christ. A match with a Polish person as fourth cousin, when there are no Polish people in my family tree aroused
suspicions. Seems my R1b1a2a1a1a4 has even Cohen matches. This polish person has a surname I match on my Y-dna 30 generations ago that was Cohen levite in 1820. Other like Family Finder matches confirm this suspicion. There are many matches to Jewish surnames
in my Y-dna. Even others have had the same experience with their Family Finder results. People with Scottish ancestry matching Jewish people in Romania! Jewish DNA is passed on in clumps because of intensive intermarriage over thousands of years. Thus the
match to fourth cousin when this is probably more than 30th cousin. I always had an unction of distant Jewish ancestry. Even mtdna results showed Scottish Jewish roots with I3 and H1e. The R1b1 Jewish attention in this book is well deserved. Andrew

I read this book with great interest and as a Scot (born and bred), Israelophile and Hebrew language student, I consider it a "must read." I was intrigued by the description of early Scottish history which does not reference perhaps the most important
document in Scotland's history. I'm even more perturbed that the fellow Williams quoted, calls the origin of the Scots in Scythia an "origin myth." The document I'm referring to is known as The Declaration of Arbroath.

Sick to death of continual aggression from the English to the south, the entire people of Scotland collectively wrote a letter to the Pope, asking him to curb the aggression of the English. At that time the Pope was the most powerful person on Earth - he
told kings what to do, not the other way about. Also the Vatican at that time was arguably the main repository of the entire knowledge of our branch of the human race.

In the preamble to the main plea of the letter, the Scots describe themselves as follows: "Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with
widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence
they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians,
the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since. In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen
kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken a single foreigner."

The people of Scotland claimed that they came from Scythia - where the tribes of Israel fled to after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrians. Maybe I'm just putting a modern slant on things, but it seems to me that if the entire people
of Scotland describe their history like this when writing to the most powerful person in the world, then they are not telling lies or spinning fanciful tales - they surely would not dare. I cannot understand why Williams apparently dismisses this history as
myth? I would posit that indeed he is wrongly revising Scottish history - it would appear to be as wrong as his DNA evidence?


-- Iain Miller Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor Neurobiology Program
Ohio University, Athens, OH

Iain Miller, Athens, OH
Let me warmly congratulate you on the message and content of your book, When Scotland was Jewish. It has explained so many questions which I have had during my 82 years, as to how and why the Scots have survived during the centuries-long, ruthless, persistent
efforts of the Catholic Church in England and later the Anglican Church of England, to crush and destroy Scotland and everything it stood for, since the Norman invasion of England in 1066. I could cite many examples, but here a brief remembered one. As a conscript
after WWII serving in the British armed forces in England, I remember that the mere mention of Scotland or things Scottish, in the presence of my fellow English recruits often evoked from working class Englishmen the response that "Scotland was a bloody,primitive
country which should be part of England." Similarly members of the English officer class, educated in an English Public School, if I inadvertently mentioned anything Scottish, often responded by saying, "Oh Bill I do wish you'd stop talking about Scotland,
it is really very tiresome. Do be a good fellow and remember that you are now in England."Such responses had been hammered into them at school by generations of Anglican priests, determined to stamp out any knowledge of Non-conforming Scottish Presbyterians,
who were categorized as, Stubborn, dull and difficult." The truth of course is that Scots are bright, efficient and dependable citizens in any field of activity which they enter. This fact I can now understand is due to their higher quality of genes, whether
they are 100% Jewish, 100% Crypto-Jewish or partially Jewish. Thank you again for your much-needed and appreciated book.

Bill Robertson, Canada

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