Early Scottish immigrants . . . the joke is on me!
The previous POOF article under the Humor column was an editorial about the statistically unsound techniques that publicity-hungry genetics professors are using to garner articles about their research in the news media. The most outrageous recent case was the genetic analysis of a 10,000 year old baby’s skeleton in the Northern Plains. It had DNA similar to modern American Indians and was near Clovis points. The academic team then distributed a press release that stated that the skeleton was proof that all American Indians walked over the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska!
You can’t do that. With only a few skeletons of this age being found in all of the Americas, one cannot generalize about them. Vast areas of the Americas, like the Southeastern United States, have acidic soils which eat up skeletons quickly. Also, the coastline of Eastern North America 12,000 years ago extended 50 to 100 miles east of where it is now. There are no DNA test markers for indigenous peoples east of the Mississippi River. So, currently there is no way to know the ethnic identity of who was living in Eastern North America thousands of years ago. However, what we think the truth is last Monday changed on Saturday morning.
At the end of the article I ran a spoof research report. Supposedly, we had done genetic testing on a class of 24 students at McIntosh Elementary School in northeastern Oklahoma . . . the old Cherokee Nation. All 24 students carried at least some Scottish Gaelic DNA markers, while only the six students, whose mothers were Creek, carried any Native American DNA. The People of One Fire therefore distributed an international press release stating that we had genetic proof that the first Americans were all Scots. LOL I assumed that the story was so implausible that all readers would realize that it was a spoof . . . aka fake news.
First, let me remind readers that geneticists have discovered that the aboriginal people of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands had black hair, brown eyes , bronze skin and Asiatic faces. The ancestors of the Britains in the rest of Scotland and points southward had dark skin, dark hair and blue eyes. Thus, an Irish aborigine would have looked similar to a mixed blood American Indian.
I am finishing up a long, detailed article on the use of linguistics to create a more accurate understanding of the Peopling of the Americas. For several months I have known that the Uchee suffix for people or tribe is the same as the Archaic Gaelic suffix for a people, tribe or province. It is re, reigh or ry . . . but pronounced like rē. This past Wednesday I discovered that the people living in the aboriginal territory of the Scots . . . Ulster, the Atlantic Coast of Scotland and the Orkney Islands, like the Uchee and Creeks, rolled their R’s so hard that speakers of other languages often write the sound down as an L. This is the reason for the “lee” and “ly” ending for many place and tribal names within the interior of the Lower Southeast.
For about a year, I have known that the original (pre-Cherokee) name for the province that roughly included the Tuckasegee River Basin over to Franklin, NC and Toccoa, GA was named Curra. Remember indigenous R sounds were often written as L’s by the Europeans. Thus, in that region, we find Cullowhee. NC, the Judaculla Rock (Cherokee-nization of “Sky over Curra,”) Cullasaja River, the Cullasee Creeks (branch of Creek Confederacy) and Currahee Mountain. GA. Curra was the ancient goddess of fertility and the underworld in ancient Ireland. It was also the archaic word for a spear, so Curra was often known as the “Spear Goddess.”
This morning, while polishing up the BIG linguistics article, I became curious if there were any place names in Ireland or Scotland similar to Curra. Oh yes! Curra was the Bronze Age name for a kingdom that included Ulster and the western edge of Scotland. That is the region that pronounces an R almost as an L . . . just like the Creeks. There are several modern family and first names derived from kingdom’s name . . . Curry, Cory, McCurry, O’Curry, MacCrory and Cora. At that point, I figured that I better write a short article on POOF, explaining my new discovery. This is proof of what I often warn readers. What I write one week as the facts might be proven the next week to be part of the facts.
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