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"Catti" and the origins of Caithness
I came across this webpage today, prompted by a letter from Niven Sinclair.
Since it relates to the origins of Caithness, I think it will be of interest
to all Sinclairs, and para-genetic Sinclairs alike.
The story of the Keiths has some similarity to that of the supposed origins
of the Lairds set out in in a US immigrant's letter in the late 19th Century
- which I posted on our website for ready reference at http://ourworld.cs.com/
INSLaird/1888_Letter.htm When we were all in Caithness in April last year
for the "Norwegian" visit at the Dunbeath Heritage centre, we learned that in
local terms you are (in Gaelic) either a "Cattach" or a "Gollach". Those
from the north of the county are "Gollach" = "stranger" and is the term
applied to those of Norse origin, which is our family story. The "Cattach"
are the "Catti" from the south, driven out by the Norse settlers (our
The "Ness" part of Caithness is from the Norse "Nes" meaning point of land,
which describes the shape of Caithness.
Another piece of the jigsaw.
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