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Crawford Surname Origin Research

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While researching my Crawford family, I came across some information that suggested the name may be of Anglo-Dane origin. The Clan Crawford Association website claims Thorlongus is the founding ancestor of the name, however, this has not been verified.

Scandinavian Scotland is a term that refers to the period from the 8th century to the 15th century, when Vikings and other Norse settlers colonized parts of what is now Scotland. The territories held by the Norse included: the islands of Orkney and Shetland, the Hebrides, the Isle of Man and the Islands of the Firth of Clyde. Mainland territory included: Caithness and Sutherland. This produced a Norse-Gael culture that had influence in other regions as well.

Norse contact with Scotland began prior to written record, however, there is little written in Scottish records. Most of the information about this period comes from Ireland and England, as well as the Norse Sagas.

Early Irish literature refers to Shetland as Inse Catt - the Isle of Cats, which may have been the name of the original pre-Norse people who lived there. There is evidence that the Cat tribe occupied much of northern Scotland's mainland, in the names of Caithness and Sutherland (Cataibh).

It is known that Thorfinn Einarsson married into the local aristocracy, and that his son, Skuli Thorninnsson, is recorded as having the support of the King of Scots in the 10th century, when making his claim as Mormaer of Caithness.

But the question remains... was there intermarriage between the Norse and the native population of northern Scotland?



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