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Scotland's Heritage


with kind reproduction from the Jewish authors as follows:

We arrived at an alternative, though seemingly preposterous, hypothesis: What if the Scots-Irish, Scottish and English surnames carried by Melungeons had not been altered? What if their ancestral surnames really were Caldwell and Kennedy and Fraser and Bruce and Campbell and Skene? What if these purportedly Scottish and Scots-Irish and English settlers were technically from those countries of origin, but were ethnically of Sephardic Jewish and Moorish ancestry? 5 Eliyahu Skean was a “Scots-Irish” Appalachian pioneer, whose family is intertwined multiply with others of Melungeon background in eastern Kentucky. His Semitic features were a point of pride with Skean, according to children and grandchildren, and he fondly recounted memories of the family’s Scottish homeland and clan. Given limited funds, we decided to initiate a series of tests on our thesis by obtaining Y-chromosome DNA samples from (1) persons of known Melungeon roots in our own ancestry (who may or may not have actually emigrated from Scotland) and (2) nine Scottish clans whose surnames are found among Melungeon populations. To do this, we contacted a set of Melungeon relatives and posted requests on Internet genealogical forums for male persons in a direct line of patrilineal descent from the nine Scottish clans of interest. These were Alexander (a sept, or sub-clan, associated with MacAlister and MacDonald), Bruce, Campbell, Douglas, Forbes, Fraser, Gordon, Leslie, and Stewart/Stuart. We asked for and received genealogical documentation and selected two

donors from each clan. The results stunned us. In EVERY case where exact 12-marker matches could be obtained for the individual, the DNA locus was found to be centred in Spain AND Portugal. Further, some of the Melungeon and Scottish clan donors had EXACT matches to

living Jews; and all of the donors had one-off or two-off matches to present-day Jews. We became concerned that our speculations might actually be correct. Yet if it were, why is Scotland not currently viewed as a country with a significant Jewish patrimony? How could so many persons of ethnically Jewish descent be living there and no one, including them, be aware of it? The answers to these enigmas, put very simply, appear to be that, first, early Jews who did live in Scotland practiced an UNDERGROUND or secret form of their religion (called Crypto-Judaism); second, a minority of the descendants of these early Crypto-Jews did in some cases revert to the open practice of their faith upon arriving in the American colonies; and third, the majority of the descendants of these Jews are now unaware of their ancestors’ religious practices, because their faith was so well dissembled, and because of conversion to Protestantism and assimilation over the intervening centuries. Over the course of this book, we chart a possible path of development for these events. We also provide documentation suggesting that perhaps the majority of the Scots people, especially those in the southwest and northeast of Scotland, are of SEPHARDIC Jewish descent. And we argue that many of these same Scots today continue to practice a “Reform” type of Judaism. It is called PRESBYTERIANISM.

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