Talk:Uí Ímair

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Descendant nobility (from article)[edit]

Olaf, a son of Sigtrygg Silkbeard, became an ancestor of the Kings of Gwynedd, through his daughter Ragnhild, the mother of Gruffydd ap Cynan.

Scottish descendants of the Uí Ímair include the famous descendants of Somerled or Clann Somhairle (Clan Donald and Clan MacDougall), through another Ragnhild, a daughter of Olaf I Godredsson. They would become the Lords of the Isles.

Among the modern Irish families once associated with the Uí Ímair are the less widely known O'Donovans. They descend from a daughter of Ivar of Limerick, wife of Donndubán mac Cathail, king of Uí Fidgenti. A daughter of Donovan was then married to Ivar of Waterford, apparently bearing him several sons. DinDraithou (talk) 01:36, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

The paragraph in the introduction starting 'Today the dynasty is no longer survived in the male line' should at least be rewritten, if not deleted, as an attempt to give it credibility with a ref which simply states that 'earnest' research continues, with no further reference to published research is WP:OR in my book. In any case such statements about descendents are generally meaningless, as going back 1000 years results in the statistical likelyhood that any one individual of the time is probably related to half the modern native population of the UK!1812ahill (talk) 16:46, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Not exactly. Descent only counts if the dynasts appear in the pedigrees of noble families, and it does not matter how far back. The DNA entering the common population is to be expected but it does no one any good there. Plus I think you are wrong about the statistical likelihood because the Uí Ímair were not in the "UK" nearly as long as they were in Ireland and Mann and the Isles. Even in those places there is little to no conclusive genetic trace of them. But the note I added can be removed simply for being too obvious. So I'll do that. DinDraithou (talk) 19:39, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

A few comments[edit]

Just some comments in passing, quoting sources from memory etc etc - feel absolutely free to ignore these ramblings of mine...

  • As I recall from Downhams book she there quotes an argument from Hudson (Pirates if memory serves me correctly) that the whole concept of Uí Ímair in the chronicles may be a way of naming "vikings of unknown origin" or something like that (I definitely should have looked this on uop before posting this). While she, as I recall, quite convincingly refutes this theory - it is probaly something that should be mentioned.
  • I'm not too happy about things being mentioned only in the infobox (well, I'm really not to happy about infoboxes at all but that's a different story) - I'd much rather see the information about the (legendary) parentshouses of Ivar (with the explanations now in notes) written out in the text proper of the article (although it may rather belong in the article about Ivar). Further, I would concider the paragraph about descendants (now on this talk page) even more relevant for the article (if the information is accurate - I notice there are no references for this paragraph).
  • The term Ua/i Imair was - again as I recall - only used in the Chronicles for the third and fourth generation. I believe using "Uí Ímair" as a term for the dynasty for later periods is is a much later scholarly invention. While that doesn't in any way make the concept invalid, I think this should be noted somehow in the article - a person with no prior knowledge might get the impression that Uí Ímair has been used in a similar fashion as Ui Neill etc - with connotations to a spesific geographical/political area as well as a dynasty. The quotation from Wolfe is of course helpful in avvoiding such a misunderstanding. but I'd like to see it clearer somehow.

I might be able to add some actual useful comments when I get back to my books, but these ramblings is all I can contribute for now. Finn Rindahl (talk) 18:02, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Ivar of Waterford and Echmarcach mac Ragnaill as dynasts[edit]

Currently Ivar is listed as a dynast, while Echmarcach is listed as "uncertain relations to the Uí Ímair". In the wikiarticle about Echm. there's a reference to an article by Duffy that seem to (I can't access it) state that Echm. was either grandson or great-grandson ov Ivar - if so they should figure in the same paragraph here. Finn Rindahl (talk) 12:52, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I've made the changes. If you want I can send you this excellent article by Duffy. Just say where. DinDraithou (talk) 18:18, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes please! I've sent you a wikipedia e-mail with "where" :) Finn Rindahl (talk) 18:37, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Sent. Sorry about the format. DinDraithou (talk) 21:43, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

Let's just take a look at this (and I note there are no citations at all in the section - Saxo is referred to but where is this in Saxo?: "However, in all other sources, yet all possibly later than Saxo's, the father of Sigurd Ring is given as Randver. But this is where their agreement ends and each give Randver a different ancestry, three in all. Perhaps the most plausible of these alternatives is that offered by the Hervarar saga, which gives his father as Valdar, an attractive answer in part because a certain Valdar, perhaps once identical, is named as an ancestor of the mighty Ivar Vidfamne who himself very well may contribute to the character and/or possibly be an ancestor of Ivar II Beinlaus. In any case theirs is a Danish or Scyldinglineage."

However, in all other sources - who says this?

yet all possibly later than Saxo's who says this?

the father of Sigurd Ring is given as Randver. But this is where their agreement ends and each give Randver a different ancestry, three in all. who says this?'

Perhaps the most plausible of these alternatives who says it is the most plausible?

is that offered by the Hervarar saga, which gives his father as Valdar, an attractive answer in part who calls it an attractive answer?

because a certain Valdar, perhaps once identical,who says this?

is named as an ancestor of the mighty Ivar Vidfamne who himself very well may contribute to the character and/or possibly be an ancestor of Ivar II Beinlaus. who says this?

In any case theirs is a Danish or Scylding lineage. presumably this is easily cited, but it would be nice to have a cite. Dougweller (talk) 20:20, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Post this again on the talkpage of the right article and you'll get some response there. The easiest thing to do here is just remove the section. DinDraithou (talk) 20:55, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Please, please don't copy and paste without a note in the edit summary that you've done that and a wikilink to the original article. If you don't do that you are in violation of copyright. I'll copy this to the original article. But thanks for removing it. Dougweller (talk) 21:18, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Well I copied and pasted my own work between the two articles. I haven't done anything with yours anywhere, so I'm not sure what you're referring to here. DinDraithou (talk) 21:28, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I think you still have to attribute, I try to do that but I admit if it's my own work I probably forget at times. Dougweller (talk) 21:38, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

OR part 2[edit]

Ok, we agree on that and it's gone. Hopefully this stuff just needs cites:

claimed to be a cadet branch of the House of Aberffraw.

Descendants of the Uí Ímair may have persisted into the 13th century

although his ancestry is not agreed upon and may very well be different.

The Clan MacLeod may also descend from the Uí Ímair in some manner,

obviously as this is a Scottish clan unknown until the 14th century his existence in their pedigree, whomever he may have been, is completely unverifiable. (Yes, I know that's right, but how do you verify it?

Dougweller (talk) 21:23, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

The Gwynedd marriage is important and should stay, but the modern family, possible descendants, I think should go now. I did observe in that other article that their pedigree could have problems of the wrong sort.
For the rest, expect citations, and more text, to come. They won't all at once but they will appear. Currently the article is still a glorified stub. Finn and I and others have plenty of sources, mostly already found in the numerous biographies this article on the dynasty links to. DinDraithou (talk) 21:43, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
One down, two to go... If I understand DD correctly, one of those might just as well be removed, leaving that and the Clan MacLeod to DinDraithou. Finn Rindahl (talk) 21:51, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I removed that one probably seconds before your last edit. Thanks for adding Duffy. It really is time to do something with this article. I'll get around to the MacLeods, who are really quite interesting. Duald Mac Firbis was interested in them too. Probably their descent in the female line from a late Uí Ímair dynast is good because he seems to make it into the old pedigrees for no apparent reason. They weren't making claims to anything then but people just thought he should be there. Their male line ancestry would appear to be native Manx Celtic according to genetic tests, and yet they have all these uncommon Scandinavian names. The MacLeods had the effective rank of jarls under the Clann Somhairle in the Isles. DinDraithou (talk) 23:18, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I've changed my mind on the MacLeods for now because they are just too distant and the arguments are all based on their pedigrees, not any verifiable connection to the Uí Ímair. It's not unlikely they do descend in the female line from some late dynast, for which see the elaborate genealogical research hosted here,[1] but we will never really know. DinDraithou (talk) 03:17, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Cadet branches[edit]

I've listed the Clann Somhairle, who arose later, as a possible cadet branch. Woolf's case is quite good and we all know that the House of Gofraid Crovan probably were a continuation of the dynasty or a cadet branch themselves. Some of this succession was probably non-agnatic but since that later became common in England I don't see the problem with it here. My personal trick is this: follow the Ragnalls. Clan Donald have been especially fond of this name. Apart from Imar itself this was the only name mostly exclusive to the dynasty with some certainty, at least for a while. Gofraid might have been too, in the Anglo-Celtic Isles that is, but we can't be sure. Sitric probably was but did not remain popular. Everybody and his brother in northwest Europe was named Amlaib.

Identifying surviving septs in Ireland is more difficult. The Thorgilssons of 12th century Dublin might have been related or might not. The O'Donovans of Carbery obviously are related, even being brave enough to say so in hostile territory (hard to deny), but they are a strange regional case who probably can't qualify as a cadet branch politically defined, although an interpretation of Cathair Cuan might allow this. Also if they really do preserve a sept or two of the dynasty then these are too close to the source are aren't cadet. But most importantly they have been of very minor importance following the beginning of the 13th century and it is only accidental the family have survived. So they're too minor to count. I'm saying this about my own ancestors.

The names Ragnall, Imar, and of course Amlaib, did eventually become popular throughout Ireland, if you look through the annals and later genealogical compilations. In fact you can find a few allegedly Gaelic septs strongly favouring the first two and so intermarriage with the Ui Imair, or some incorporation, is obvious. The dynasty was large and spread over a huge area. The problem is that unlike the O'Donovans, these septs have not survived into modern times. Also historical evidence beyond naming practices is lacking so in the end we are still stuck with the semi-satisfactory O'Donovans as our primary Irish example of a maybe.

We need to list the Clann Somhairle because they were as powerful as provincial overkings at their height, and ruled where the earlier dynasty once did. Moncreiffe made them male line descendants of Ivar of Waterford, which oddly would probably make them near enough cousins of the O'Donovans, but this pedigree is very messy if not unacceptable. Its weakest part is the reconstruction back to Echmarcach. It then doesn't matter so much whether he belonged to the Ragnall or Sitric line. Woolf does not mention this pedigree. In any case the Clann Somhairle don't actually need it, as he demonstrates. DinDraithou (talk) 18:29, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:57, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Uí ÍmairHouse of IvarRelisted. Vegaswikian (talk) 17:01, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Nearly all English, Scottish, Welsh and British Royal Houses use House of (family) as the standard format. The term dynasty is not commonly used in the UK in reference to ruling families (Houses). There is clear precedence of House of (Family) to be used on Wikipedia. Shatter Resistance (talk) 16:41, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Voting procedure: Vote with either Support or Oppose below this explanation. Please place vote at the bottom of the list please along with a small justification. Any larger comments for debate should be placed in the sub-section provided. Shatter Resistance (talk) 16:41, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Strong Support - Nominator - Shatter Resistance (talk) 16:42, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Weak support. They are referred to as the House of Ivar by some scholars and genealogists but the vast majority simply give the Gaelic and refer to them as a dynasty. However, for Wikipedia and the general reader I think House of Ivar could be a better title because it is pronounceable. DinDraithou (talk) 18:43, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Uí Ímair is a good scholarly name. "House of Ivar" (not really a "house" anyway) introduces ambiguities with the saga group ... and though the Ivars probably are the same in origin, one is effectively fictional and one is historical. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:50, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Compromise. A compromise might be Dynasty of Ivar, following Downham and some others. DinDraithou (talk) 22:22, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think that a search on GoogleBooks shows that the better and newer sources tend to use the Gaelic form (search for "Ui Imair" since Google's scanner has problems with the acute accents).--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:13, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per Deacon and Brianann. Cavila (talk) 19:54, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Consistency with tenuously-related articles is less important than consitency with the sources. The best ones have used this title for some time. Angus McLellan (Talk) 16:26, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per Angus McLellan and that whilst "English, Scottish, Welsh and British" may not use the term it seems to be commonly used for Irish imperia. Ben MacDui 18:30, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it.Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I think DinDraithou's comment that House of Ivar is actually pronouncable is perhaps a factor which may well be considered the swing factor on this move request. I for one have no idea if I pronounce Uí Ímair correctly, I think if there is an option to have a title which can actually be identified to be the reader then it is likely to be far more accessible. Shatter Resistance (talk) 18:50, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Good points yourself. Even I find myself thinking "oo-ee eemayre" when I read it, when the pronunciation is "ee eevaryi", the final -i- very short. DinDraithou (talk) 22:22, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Possibly we could use Dynasty of Ivar (or Ivar dynasty as that is the usual order on Wikipedia) though I don't see how dynasty makes any more sense than House. In the UK dynasty is only ever really used in reference to Ancient Egyptian and Chinese rulers. Also dynasty is much tighter in scope in that in usually specifically refers to the actual rulers of a state rather than the wider family (within context) which this article seems to cover. However, having said all that Dynasty of Ivar is still pronouncable so it has got to be better than the current situation. Shatter Resistance (talk) 08:15, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Either way, maybe someone can render the Gaelic into IPA with a template like Template:IPA, or actually record the pronunciation with Template:Audio. An article like this is probably just what those templates are for.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:13, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

I can get around to the IPA since I focused on linguistics in college, but the audio should be done by an Irish Gaelic speaker, who will be able to palatalize the -r- properly. I've never had instruction there and mess it up. DinDraithou (talk) 00:51, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
He's not a native Irish Gaelic speaker, but Akerbeltz (talk · contribs) is generally the man for such things. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 01:00, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
He or User:Fergananim then. ɾʲ is tough, but a Gaelic linguist should be as able as a native speaker. I've taken care of the IPA-ga for this. Nora lives (talk) 15:17, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't know Akerbeltz. Can you get him? Fergananim usually takes a while to get around to things and I don't know if he uses that hardware. Nora lives (talk) 17:52, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Hiya. Yeah I can knock up an mp3 - if we get a native Irish speaker come up with something else, I'm happy to have it replaced, velarised labials aren't something we have this side of the Irish Sea. Akerbeltz (talk) 18:56, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

I just guessed based on the sound of the Norse, since I've done some Germanic philology and translated some of Sturluson's Edda. So I can do that part, how it should probably be in Irish, or rather was, knowing what little I know of Old and Middle Irish phonetics and phonology. I wouldn't focus too much on the labial and just try to palatalize what's needed. Thank you so much for doing this. Nora lives (talk) 21:28, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I was going to study Old Irish philology at Uppsala a few years ago but things got screwed up and I didn't get to go. Nora lives (talk) 21:32, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm still pissed off but might try again if I ever have the money. Alternatively I could go straight to Trinity or UCD but Sweden looks more attractive than Ireland for various reasons. Nora lives (talk) 21:38, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Done. Feedback welcome but to me it sounds right. I've streamlined the lead a tiny bit otherwise the lead sentence is hard to read. Akerbeltz (talk) 15:00, 24 June 2011 (UTC)


I have changed their ethnicity from Norse / Norse-Gaelic to Norse / Irish. This is very well supported. Scholars are not even sure how long they were in Ireland before they appear in the surviving record, and already in the first half of the 10th century the Anglo-Saxons seem to consider them Irish, calling Sitric Cáech and Niall Glúndub "brothers" and Amlaíb mac Gofraid "King of Ireland." Then we have Amlaíb Cuarán acting like an Irish king and contender for the Kingship of Tara, and in the next century we have his daughter Máel Muire and later Cacht ingen Ragnaill each styled Queen of Ireland without reserve. Finally we have the names they left behind and made popular, most notably Ragnall, and their descendants in today's western Scotland unable to figure out if they are really Irish or Norse in origin. I know of a certain family in southern Ireland who have been suffering with a similar problem for centuries because their ancestors made too many friends among the Uí Ímair and ended up becoming a pseudo-sept of the dynasty in the minds of their more determinedly Gaelic neighbours. But you do not have to be completely Gaelic to be Irish. If you think about it, only several centuries before the appearance of Uí Ímair there were probably British and even Gaulish dynasties setting themselves up in Ireland, still Celtic of course, but the Norse are not so terribly different and everyone well read knows it. Ireland and Scandinavia have been described like sister civilizations, at least in some terms, by different scholars, the former's Viking phase ending before or around the time the latter's began. Both went gradually downhill after theirs ended.

Gael once meant something like "Viking." There was nothing ever very foreign about the Uí Ímair. Nora lives (talk) 16:56, 24 July 2011 (UTC)


I've dropped an essay into Wikipedia:WikiProject Scottish Islands/Origins of the Uí Ímair and the Earls of Orkney and comments/edits are more than welcome. Some of the reasons it is not (yet) an article are explained on the talk page - I also think it needs some input from those much more familiar with the relevant periods of Norse and Irish history than I am. Ben MacDui 15:47, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Distaff line[edit]

The text currently states "First proposed by James Henthorn Todd in 1867,<ref>Todd 1867</ref> and most recently considered by Alex Woolf and Clare Downham, it is possible the Uí Ímair were peculiar in that some early members, and possibly the entire known later dynasty, descended from the founder via the female line." The latter part, in relation to Woolf and Downham, is sourced but the ref. for the idea having originated with Todd does not have a page number. The Cogadh is a bit of a brute to read but I can't find anything about this in it. The edit that created the text states that the editor concerned did not have the page number to hand. Can anyone confirm the authenticity of Todd's involvement? It seems odd to me that Downham would fail to mention it. Ben MacDui 20:29, 6 November 2014 (UTC)