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Highland Roots - Family History from the Heart of the Scottish Highlands

There are various definitions of "The Highlands" in Scotland. 

The modern Highland Council for instance administers the historic counties of Caithness and Nairn which wouldn't always be considered Highland areas -  along with Sutherland, Ross & Cromarty, and Inverness; but not Argyll and Bute or upland Perthshire, which are traditionally part of the Highlands (see the Counties Page). Since this website is Inverness-based we will tend to concentrate on the Highland Council region and areas immediately adjacent to it (such as northern Argyll, northern Perthshire and Moray), but will also include material relevant to the whole of the historic "Highlands" where appropriate.  The map below shows the High-lands, known in Gaelic as the Gaidhealtachd (i.e. "Gaeldom"), along with the Non-Gaelic Speaking Provinces in the low-land areas of the northeast of the country. This map may be compared to that from which it is taken showing the whole of Scotland - see www.itraveluk.co.uk/maps/scotland.html


Gaeldom's equation of the Highlands with the historic Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland is somewhat misleading since in early medieval times Gaelic would have been spoken in most areas of the country apart from the southeast of the Lothians, the northeast of Caithness, and the northern isles; and in later medieval times in much of the mainland north of the Forth and Clyde Valleys, apart again from Caithness. For more information on this, and all the historic divisions of Scotland see the excellent "Atlas of Scottish History to 1707", eds. Peter G. B. McNeill & Hector L. MacQueen (Edin. 1996).