DID THE NORTHMEN EXTIRPATE THE CELTIC INHABITANTS OF THE HEBRIDES IN THE NINTH CENTURY ? BY CAPT. F. W. L. THOMAS, R.N., F.S.A. SCOT.

You will have to forgive me for dancing a metaphorical jig upon discovering this document online at the

Archaeology Data Service
Department of Archaeology 
University of York
King’s Manor
York YO1 7EP

Proceedings of the Society, April 10, 1876
DID THE NORTHMEN EXTIRPATE THE CELTIC INHABITANTS OF THE HEBRIDES IN THE NINTH CENTURY ? BY CAPT. F. W. L. THOMAS, R.N., F.S.A. SCOT.

This paper from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland is to be found in Volume 11 of their Proceedings and this is the link to the PDF file where you can read the original document.

In his paper, Fred Thomas explores in great detail the Norse origins of the placenames of the isles and even lists the number of people with each surname found in North Uist & Harris.
(This gave me quite a surprise for he counts 46 Kerr folk on Harris in, presumably, 1876 yet the censuses of 1871 & 1881 returned merely 37 and 27 respectively whilst that of 1861 showed 56? A check of other names suggests that he used the 1861 Census figures for his table (he earlier alludes to this with respect to Lewis) and that ’46’ was simply a mis-transcription of the ’56’ then present.)

But I digress, this paper by the retired 60 year-old is a fascinating read and certainly the most thorough account of the placenames of Harris that I have yet found – and it’s only 135 years old!

(Source: As cited above – from the Archaeology Data Service (Copyright Statement) )

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