Caithness & Sutherland (Counties)

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About us

The geographical coverage of the project is the counties of Caithness and Sutherland in Scotland.

The project is open to both males and females who have a direct lineage back to the above areas on their paternal or maternal side. The project aims to help participants further their genealogical research and explore their 'deep ancestral' origins.

The project also takes results for individuals who have taken the Family Finder test and who have ancestors from Caithness or Sutherland.

The name Caithness is derived primarily from a tribal rather than a place name and appears to have been given to the indigenous people in question, 'the Cats' by their Celtic-speaking neighbours.

Caithness was originally named Katanes by the Norsemen, meaning 'headland of the cats'. The lands south of the Ord of Caithness were later designated Sudrland by the Norse (the southern part of Katanes) whilst the area west of lowland Caithness was referred to in the Norse sagas as the 'Dales' of Caithness (Dalir).

It has been argued that the 'province' of Strathnaver likely equates to these 'dales' and should be seen as part of the earldom lands of Caithness.

The project will cover that part of north-eastern Scotland inhabited by 'the Cats', namely present day Caithness (Katanes), Sutherland (Sudrland) and the 'Dales' (Dalir).