Every now and then I come across one of the more obscure texts, something a bit more varied than the standard fare of heathen history. Today, I was reading through some of the articles about the y-DNA tests that recently proved a common origin for the MacDonalds, MacDougals and related clans. I was particularly interested in getting more of the details, because the clans in question all claim descent from Somerled. Now, Somerled was the great Gaelic hero who drove the Norse out of Argyll. The media coverage focused on the angle that Somerled’s paternal ancestors, according to the DNA evidence, must have come from Norway. That might be a suprise to anyone who thinks of our ancestors in terms of racial purity, but actually, one of the standard reconstructed genealogies for Somerled suggests that he belonged – paternally – to the dynasty of the Norse kings of Dublin, and so ultimately to the Ynglingar, descendants of Freyr. With my descent from the MacDougals, I was interested enough to explore further. And, I came across an old account of the origin of the Grants, the Monymusk Text. The original of the text is thought to have been composed for the knighting of Sir John Grant of Mulben in 1617:ANE ACCOUNT OF THE RISE AND OFFSPRING OF THE NAME OF GRANT.
Printed for Sir Archibald Grant Bart., of Monymusk 1876
Editorial Note: This is a Copy of the Celebrated MS History of the Grants, copied by me from a copy belonging to Altyre (the Seat of Sir Wm. Gordon Cuming, Bart) lent me by Captain Dunbar of Lea Park, Forres (Editor of the Thunderton Papers). CHARLES HARCOURT CHAMBERS Nairn, Oct 21 1872
THERE was a certain Prince came out of Asia, about the year 600, named Wodine (which name to this day in the Norway Chronologies signifies Prince or Great) a man for heathenish piety and bodily strength renowned as much as any in his time.
His piety occasioned his being worshipped under the name of Mercurius, and because the Romans called the fourth day of the week Dies Mercurii, therefore, was the day called, in Norway language, Oudinsdagh, and in the English and Scotts Wednesday.
His bodily strength occasioned his being called a Gyant, and the tradition among some of the name of Grant sayes that there were three Gyants remarkable in the world; one called Coil or Fin o’ Cuil of whom the Macdonalds in Scotland are descended; the second called Formid o’ duine, of whom the name of Campbell (or clan chain) are descended, and th descended of Wodine are among others the name of Grant, who to this day are called Slichk o’ dine, ie the offspring of Wodine, hence Sile o’ dine, finn o’ cuil ager Formid o’ duiner.
Wodine coming to Norway was in wonderful account, and building a great City there in the province of Fuhnen, called it after his own name Oudinsay, which it retains to this day; the old Saxon had Wodine in no less account, not only boasting of him as their Progenitor, but also esteeming as God to whom they offered in Sacrifice all their Prisoners of War as a testimony of their esteem and thankfulness to him for their success, and it was their constant practice before their engagement in Battle to make their address by prayer to Wodine for favor and success.
The Dane-Records bear that Harold the first King of Norway did offer in sacrifice to Wodine two of his sons in hope to obtain Victory in Battle over Harald King of Denmark.
Wodine was married to Freia, and for husbands’ esteem she is worshipped under the name of Venus and amongst the Danes, Scotts, and English, the sixth day, after Freia, is called Friday.
Wodine had seven sons with his Wife Freia, who became so many Princes of great note in the World. England being then divided in several Principalities, several of Wodine’s Sons reigned therein till about the year 800 after Christ; and History informs us that the true old Saxons do acknowledge and own Wodine to be their Progenitor of whom they are descended.
- Grant Histories: Overview, at ClanGrant.org, visited Oct. 15, 2019.
Revised Oct. 15, 2019 to replace dead link.