The House of Alpín: Kings of Scotland c. 843 - 1034

Started by Private User on Sunday, January 17, 2010


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Private User
1/17/2010 at 11:47 AM

There is sometimes confusion in the lines of Scottish kings, so here's some sources:

From Wikipedia:
The House of Alpin is the name given to the kin-group which ruled in Pictland and then the kingdom of Alba from the advent of Cináed mac Ailpín in the 840s until the death of Máel Coluim mac Cináeda in 1034.

Kings traced their descent from Cináed mac Ailpín, and not from his father, and Irish genealogies in the Book of Ballymote and the Book of Lecan refer to the kindred as Clann Cináeda meic Ailpín, prioritising descent from Cináed.[1]

The origins of the family are uncertain. Later genealogies of doubtful reliability make Cináed a descendant of Áed Find. While plausible, such claims are unprovable and appear only in the late tenth century.[2] The associated idea that Cináed had been a king in Dál Riata before contending successfully for power in Pictland in the 840s, following the death of Eóganán mac Óengusa, is supported by near-contemporary evidence.[3]

Early kings of Clann Cináeda meic Ailpín are described as kings of the Picts, and the third king, Constantín mac Cináeda appears to have been regarded as the last of the seventy Pictish kings soon after his death. The descendants of Cináed were ousted in 878 when Áed mac Cináeda was killed by Giric mac Dúngail. They returned in 889 on the death of Giric. Following this, the title king of Alba is used.[4]

During the tenth century, succession alternated between the descendants of Constantín mac Cináeda and those of Áed mac Cináeda. Internecine strife in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries left the descendants of Constantín unchallenged by male-line descendants of Cináed mac Ailpín, but Máel Coluim mac Cináeda left no male heirs. On Máel Coluim's death, the line of kings descended from Cináed came to an end. Future kings, while still tracing their descent from Cináed, were descended from Máel Coluim's daughter Bethóc.[5]
List of all with dates of reign here:

Main source of lineage:

Private User
1/17/2010 at 11:56 AM

One main line goes from the first King

Kenneth I Kenneth I mac Alpine, King of the Picts

father of Causantín I Constantine I, King of the Picts and Scots

father of Donald II Donald II "The Madman", King of Scots

father of Malcolm I Malcolm I, King of Scots

father of Kenneth II Kenneth II, King of Scots

father of Malcolm II Malcolm II "The Destroyer", King of Scots, who had three daughters, but no sons.

1/17/2010 at 11:33 PM

Hello Anne
Thank you for that. I also find this such an interesting area, and would like to have a longer conversation about it. Unfortunately I’m doing IQ testing for the British International School in Cairo until the 8th February, so I shall only be able to add real value to any discussion then;
But I wanted to ask if you’re aware of the practice of ‘tanistry’ amongst these Scots clans as an inheritance system (roughly: the strongest male leader is elected heir apparent by the clan’s leaders, rather than simply the eldest son of the present leader);
as well as of the possibility that the Picts followed a matrilineal descent system, that seemed to carry weight even after the DelRiata connection, and may have lasted until Duncan nominated his son, Malcolm, as the heir apparent,.. prompting Macbeth’s challenge. (Duncan’s mother, Bethoc, had been the Heiress of Scone; and it is possible that Macbeth’s wife, Gruoch - the infamous ‘Lady Macbeth’ - was the present Heiress of Scone, giving Macbeth a ‘rightful’ claim to the throne over Duncan’s, much younger, sons).

Private User
1/18/2010 at 7:55 AM

@Sharon, yes - it is in some ways similar to the system the Vikings had, making lineages and chronological lists of monarchs differ quite a lot.

There is an article about tanistry here if anyone else is interested:

I'm also including lists of Kings of Dál Riata, and Kings of Picts, the Kings before the "House of Alba" or Ailpin:

Private User
1/18/2010 at 8:15 AM

Brother of Kenneth I was Donald I Domnall mac Ailpín, Rí na Dál Riata

father of Giric mac Dúngail Giric King Of Scotland

Private User
1/18/2010 at 8:36 AM

Another line from Kenneth I:

His son Aedh mac Kenneth Áed, King of Scots

father of Constantine II Constantín II mac Áeda, Rí na h'Alba

father of Indulph Ildulb mac Causantin, Rí na h'Alba

father of Amlaíb Amlaíb mac Ilduilb, King of Scots and Cuilén

father of Constantine III Causantín III mac Cuiléin, Rí na h'Alba

10/25/2010 at 2:32 AM

Can I collaborate on the MacAlpine Kings and Orkney Earls Projects? Or are you worried that too many people will mess up the data?

I have two questions while I'm adding data to Geni in this area - about a strategy for dealing with duplications that may or may not be the same person, but who share the same children:

1) First - a question on the strategy to acknowledge the problem of Malcolm Canmore and Donalbane's mother: whether she's Suthen and/or Sybila and whether she's connected to Siward (unlikely his daughter cos of dates, if I recall correctly - but Sybila might be his granddaughter / sister at some other researcher's guess, I seem to remember reading somewhere, and can go and check. ) Either way it is creating duplicate trees for her sons. I've just merged two Donalbanes, but there will now immediately be a problem in assigning the mother as either one of these, and I don't want to step on toes.
Has there been any discussion about the effect of combining the two women in cases like this - knowing they may be different, but also knowing that the mother is likely to be only one of them, anyway. eg naming one placeholder: "Suthen' or 'Sybilla' - NB these may be different women, pending further research" ,
rather than having 2 trees created by duplicating sons. Sybila's ancestry being unknown prevents tree duplication above her.

The other 'merge' I think worth considering is that Donalda/Donada/Dovada/ Anleta etc may well be the same person and not two sisters: - 'married' first to Findlaech - producing Macbeth, and second to Sigurd - producing Thorfinn about 4 years later.
There always seems to be one of the supposed 3 daughters of Malcolm for whom a given researcher lacks sources completely, and I think this may be due to name changes across languages, phonetic translations (Like the Eithne / Audna /Aedna / Edna transliterations), and even possibly actual name changes at the time to mark some life passage or transition, that may be distracting us here.
Given Malcolm II's tendency to barter his daughters for territorial influence, this is not unlikely at all - especially as Findlaech and Sigurd are enemies at war on and off, and Donalda could easily have been carried off as booty. This might explain Sigurd's return of Thorfinn (and Mom) to Malcolm II, on Sigurd's way to Clontarf - where he hopes to make another marriage to the Irish heiress. In this case there may be property rights in Thorfinn that may not have been conferred onto Sigurd if Donalda/Anleta had been taken, not given in marriage.
Anyway - an argument can be made a couple of ways, given so little data - but too many researchers put Thorfinn and Macbeth's mother/s as one/both of these women - splitting the tree again. If one place holder is used to combine these two women - pending further info being discovered, it avoids the present proliferation of separate unmergeable trees for these two sons. Being explicit about all the name possibilities in one place, also prevents us losing one of them altogether to the inevitable merge that must choose between them when someone decides that Donalda is the common denominator mother name between them. (I think I suggested this to Bjorn, when faced with a request to merge the Anleta profile he manages.)

Not sure how much of this makes sense ;-> Sorry, if it's long-winded.

10/25/2010 at 11:06 AM

I see we have Blanaid as an optional addition for Malcolm II's Wife. Any thoughts (or further sources) on the following 'debunking' of this possibility at:

Supposed additional daughter (probably falsely attributed):

NN, stated without evidence to have been a wife of Malcolm II, king of Scotland [Newman 144, 161 states that a daughter of Brian (name not provided) was married to Malcolm II, without providing any supporting evidence. This alleged daughter has been supplied with the name of "Blanaid" in some databases, evidently based on certain works of historical fiction written by novelist Morgan Llywelyn which used Newman's book as a source. This supposed daughter is absent from other recent histories of both Ireland and Scotland that would have been expected to mention the marriage if there was any good evidence for it, and the existence of this supposed daughter cannot be accepted based on any currently known evidence.]

10/25/2010 at 11:20 AM

I do have to giggle that genealogical data is being based on clearly labeled historical fiction.

10/25/2010 at 11:29 AM

A letter on this site:
gives Doda, Fulbert's wife, as Malcolm II's daughter - citing the The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy, as its source. It doesn't confirm Blanaid, but adds in another!? daughter, Doda, for malcolm, whose mother is Edith Sigurddaughter of Orkney? Has anyone heard of her?


• NAME: Doda or Duxia DE FALAISE [3850] [3851]
• BIRTH: 980, of Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland
• DEATH: Aft 1003, Falaise, Normandie, France
• EVENT: Alt. Birth: 980, Falaise, Calvados, France
• AFN: GS5L-C1
Donalda or Doda MAC ALPON, Alice Of Scotland, Princess of Scotland
Anleta or Alice Thora Donada or Dona or Olith Mac Alpin
Source: The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy
Given Names: Alice Of Scotland

• NAME: Doda or Duxia DE FALAISE [3850] [3851]
• BIRTH: 980, of Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland
• DEATH: Aft 1003, Falaise, Normandie, France
Father: Malcolm II or Melkolf MCKENNETH
Mother: Edith Sigurdatter OF ORKNEY

10/25/2010 at 11:53 AM

Well, I've gone from giggling to a headache ;-) as Malcolm II seems now to be listed as possibly having married his son-in-law, Sigurd's, sister (or worse, Sigurd's daughter??) Is truth this much stranger than fiction? I have to take a break to think about it...

Private User
10/26/2010 at 1:38 AM

Sharon, thanks for showing your interest! We can use some help completing all the merges of duplicates into the Master Profiles, yes. Most of the lines are "easy", that is non-ambiguous, but to answer your suggested merges: No, absolutely not ...

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Medieval Lands website, but this is the one we use for genealogy/connections, especially when in doubt. It is as close to primary source as possible.

The MASTER profiles in the line all have information based on this. See Curator notes + About. (Some profiles still need to have the proper link and text excerpt posted, as well as be edited to MP format.) I've been working extensively in this line for almost two years here on Geni - but notice that errors re-appear when erroneous lines are merged in.

Malcolm II's daughters: it is MUCH a more common error in genealogy to perceive two different people as the same, than "create" an extra person. MedLands list THREE daughters and that's what we use. Even if there are few sources, I'm sure this is the most probable line. It is not difficult (just time-consuming) to fix the relationships when merging in versions where people have listed only one or two daughters instead. If you are unsure of how to do this, leave it to those who are familiar with the tools.

Suthen: all her info and how she was REALLY connected to Siward is on the Master Profile. Whether Siward also had a daughter called Sibylla is as you see from her profile info VERY unclear, but since 99% of all Geni members seem to have added one, I've left her for now, merging in those who pop up. There is also a note saying that This "constructed" Sibyl MIGHT be removed and merged with Suthen later - but we must wait with that until the merges are all done (still a lot to do ...).

Doda de Falaise - see info on her Master Profile. Of course she was not a Scot ...

Thanks for pointing out the reason for the "Blanaid"-person. I've been wondering where that came from. The "Ælgfigu Sigurdsdóttir" that is the (unverified) name of the current wife is NOT a daughter of Sigurd Orkneyjarl as you assume, but listed as the daughter of some other (unconnected) Sigurd, maybe from Ossory. I find no sources for this, but it is possible, considering all the Norse who had settled in that area.

There is a so-called "Edith (?) Sigursdóttir listed as daughter of Sigurd Orkneyjarl" with no sources either, so what to do with her when all merges are done will have to be discussed.

Also important: When we merge we NEVER delete - but sometimes wrong relationships need to be cut, we must just make sure we do the right thing in the line.

As a start, merge in your own versions and all the others you have access to - should be many around, I'm afraid. If there are discrepancies in relationships, let's talk :-)

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