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The Scots: A Genetic Journey
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The Scots: A Genetic Journey

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Here, guided by Jim Wilson’s researches into Scottish genetic history, he (Alistair Moffat) tackles on the of the biggest stories possible: linking up the story of the earliest Scots to the earliest men... He is wonderfully able to communicate the epic elements of the story – which matters because that’s precisely what man’s survival has been’ - David Robinson, The Scotsma ...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published 2011 by Birlinn
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(showing 1-30 of 174)
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Moira McPartlin
This is a fascinating book. Not only does it describe in easy language the genetic history if the Scots, it links it with the history of the country, language, place names and family names. It has rekindled my interest in Scottish history.
Holly McIntyre
Fascinating and frustrating. I read the book to prepare for an upcoming trip to Scotland and to learn more about DNA-based genealogical research. The book was helpful on both counts, but wasn't what I expected.

The DNA information was scattered throughout the book like pearls before swine. If gathered together it would constitute one good academic article. I had hoped for more.

I had not expected the wealth of archeological, anthropological, and historical information which added great insight int
...more
Mark Hammond
I am totally fascinated by genetic science as applied to genealogy. The Scots are an amazing people, the variety of races interacting there, and complexity of events over the centuries and millenniums, is mind boggling. I will refer to this book many times over the years as I unlock my own DNA heritage.
The reading was a bit difficult at times because of my lack of knowledge of certain places, and my own weakness on British Isles history, but the presentation of data presented was more than enou
...more
Lynn
An interesting look at the earliest movement of peoples into - and out of - and back into Scotland, as well as how the different groups interacted and moved about. Some of the information is based solely on DNA evidence, as there simply isn't anything else on which to base conclusions. However, when other evidence exists, the DNA evidence often sheds interesting light on it - confirming some family legends, for example, or revealing the most likely builders of various archaeological sites. For t ...more
Cecilia Peartree
Aug 28, 2011 Cecilia Peartree rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Family historians; anyone interested in Scottish history
This is a fascinating book which covers the pre-history and history of Scotland from the point of view of genetics and DNA.
As a family historian I am particularly interested in the topic - my late brother had his Y-DNA tested as part of the Clan Morrison DNA project. This is still ongoing, but it seems to be showing a pattern of more than one family with the same name.
The study of genetics seems to be developing very fast as this book gives a rather different picture from a book called 'The Or
...more
Avis Vacheresse


I am interest in the history of my family ,so when traveling with my daughter in Scotland this book was brought to my attention by our tour guide. I have spent many an hour on the Internet and going through books trying to trace my father and mother's family. This book helped me understand that to say I am of English /Scottish heritage is an understatement ! Maybe one day I will be able to have my DNA traced and find the routes my family travelled to get where they are today. A very enjoyable r
...more
Deborah
I have to say that the title of this book did make the thought of reading this book quite daunting, but thankfully I was pleasantly surprised and ended up quite enjoying it. Especially at the start of the book it didn't quite feel like a book on genetics with carefully created scenes describing historic times drawing me in. Nearer the end it did get a bit fact, after fact but still a good book and an author I will read again in the not too distance future.
Catherine Kesseler
Great descriptions of the events that influence migrations, natural disasters, climate change, etc. The inclusion of the accounts of Herodotus and Bede helped in my understanding of the early history. I would have liked to see a chart or something of the ydna markers as I had trouble keeping them straight.
David Comerford
Using genetics to do history is a great idea, but Alastair Moffat really has to avoid writing the same book over and over again. I've also bought his 'Sea Kingdoms: A history of Celtic Britain and Ireland' but now I think it'll end up being a repeat of this book and his Faded Map book.
Judit Harangozó
Brilliant book about modern genetics and the history of mankind. Recommended in general, not only if you are interested in the Scots, as the book literally goes back to "Adam and Eve" and reveals the findings of recent genetic research.
Alethea Bothwell
Loved it! It was an interesting way to go through Scottish history - and it had wonderful tidbits about genetics in general. Very readable.
Gail Walker
Absolutely amazing journey for anyone with Scottish roots or anyone who think they may have Scottish roots. Totally recommended!
Melissa Renee
Hard scientific facts crafted into a beautiful and epic story of the Scottish people.
Bert Christie
Fantastic book

Kat
simply brilliant
Susan Hirtz
Dynamic, exciting page-turner of a scientifically based book. It read as if it were written by a novelist writing from each period covered. All sorts of historical, cultural and archaeological finds are integrated into the stories of the people he talks about. Because of this, a sense of immediacy lingers over each age he covers. Moffat has explained who the Picts were among others and what those prefixes mean on place names in Scotland. (Everything seems to be a "kil" or a "doon".) We learn how ...more
Morag Gray
Interesting, but a bit much history, which you can find elsewhere, and not really enough about DNA.
Pam
A fascinating history Scotland, but I agree with other reviewers that the author speculates on some things too much.
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