A curious aspect of the early history of Scotland concerns various stories around Kenneth. King Kenneth was also known as ‘Kenneth the Niger’ or Kenneth Dubh, a surname which means ‘the black man’.
It is a matter of history that many seafaring warriors were North African, traveled via Iberia into Europe, and joined in many cultures and held power and position. Niger Val Dubh lived and reigned over certain black divisions in Scotland, and some histories state that a race known as ‘the sons of the blacks’ succeeded him. (e.g. see J.A. Rogers, Sex and Race).
Kenneth III was king of Scotland from 997 to 1005. He was the son of King Dubh (Dub mac Mail Choluim - 962-967), fourth cousin of the previous king Constantine III, and first cousin of his successor Malcolm II. Kenneth was the last king of Scotland to succeed to the throne through the tanistry system, whereby the succession was shared between two family lines and the dying king named his successor from the other family line. This system led to constant struggle between the ruling families and was abandoned. Kenneth and his son Giric were both killed at Monzievaird, Tayside in 1005.
His first cousin Malcolm succeeded him and abolished the tanistry system by killing all of his male descendants. However Kenneth had a granddaughter, Gruoch, via his daughter Boite, whose first husband was Gillacomgain. They had a son called Lulach. She then married King Macbeth I of Scotland (becoming Lady Macbeth). On the death of Macbeth her son via her first marriage, Kenneth III’s great grandson, succeeded to the throne, to become King Lulach of Scotland. According to this history, the blood of Kenneth flows through the royal houses of Scotland.
This story captures a curious fact about the Gaels from Gallicia - some were dark and have left many traces in Irish, Welsh and Scots clans.