I've done some genealogy research in my family and found a man named "Simon Skragge".

I've been searching information about this "Simon Skragge" online, and found this: Adl. ätten Skraggensköld (swedish) (Noble family Skraggensköld), this chapter says:

In the history of the Skragge-family, there is a story, that a King of Scotland was banished by his enemies and by ship arrived on an uninhabited island, on which there were nothing more present than wild goats. The King, in need of food, promised a reward to the one, that first caught a goat. This is what the progenitor of this family is rumored to have done, and by doing so, been given the name "Skragge", meaning "male goat" or "buck" in Scottish. /.../ His offspring had a male goat in their seal, and arrived with time first in Norway, and then in Wermland, Sweden.

Sorry if the translation is a bit bad

Does anyone happen to know who this king might be? The man "Simon Skragge" came to Sweden from Norway in the late years of Gustav Vasa's time as king, approx. 1560. So it must be before that, possibly a few generations back too?

Thanks in advance!

  • There's an apocryphal story about Robert the Bruce hiding in a cave on the Isle of Arran that involves goats, but it doesn't quite fit. The story is that when a search party found the entrance of the cave, they saw wild goats in front of it and (incorrectly) assumed the goats wouldn't be there if someone was hiding inside.
    – yannis
    Nov 27, 2013 at 1:16
  • 3
    Well, who knows what words they used in the 12th century in Scotland? :-) But certainly no dictionary of either Gaelic or Scots claims that Skragge, Scrag or anything similar means "goat". I would chalk this story into the "fiction" category. But there are Scottish families called "Scragg" and similar, so the connection to Scotland seems reasonable. You might want to also check for information on genealogy.stackexchange.com Nov 27, 2013 at 14:55
  • (Also, I can't find any king who fits. The only one I can find that was banished is David II, and he does not go to any uninhabited islands, he goes to France.) Nov 27, 2013 at 15:07
  • @Lennart Regebro; That coat of arms is actually very interesting. Multiple sources also claim that Skragge doesn't have to do with goats, but with wolves. Skragge is a nickname in old swedish for wolf. And that coat of arms has something that looks like a dog. Could be related! Jan 16, 2017 at 15:42
  • Are you still looking for info? My family has the same story and Skragge has been a middle name for hundreds of years including my dad's middle name. I know my mom has a letter and family tree that my great grandfather sen received from Scotland outlining that story If you like - I can have my mom take pictures and send it to you. I am a descendent of Olof Nilsson Skragge Hermelin.
    – Tessa
    Jan 19, 2017 at 0:44

3 Answers 3


It seems most likely to me it would have been a local Sept leader, or at best a Earl or Laird, who got run out of his territories in the course of typical Scottish infighting. Over generations of retelling this guy could easily have been eventually promoted all the way to a "King", as it makes the family's origins sound more respectable. You would be positively amazed how many people in the USA claim descent from a Cherokee princess (the Cherokee don't even have royalty).

An event very much like this, known as the Flight of the Earls, happened in 1607. Another page I found talks of issues with "Scottish mercenaries" in Ireland prior to 1570. If we assume that Ireland wouldn't have been the only victim of this activity, your "king" could well have been one of those mercenary leaders.

  • Actually, reading over it, a lot of the text in my Cherokee Princess link works pretty well for your "Scottish King". Both relate to genealogy and dealing with family oral histories that contain claims of royal heritage. Even #5 may work, in that "Scottish King" might at one time have been a euphemism for something else that got its original meaning lost. Look it over.
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 27, 2013 at 20:25
  • Interesting angle. I would also like to add that in Ireland chieftains of various degrees of puissance were sometimes called "kings". See a list here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irish_kings So the King part could have been true if we were talking about Ireland, just not in the usual sense. Don't know about Scotland. Nov 28, 2013 at 15:08
  • I did some googlin', and came over yet a copy from an old book at Runeberg.org. ( runeberg.org/histbib/3/0466.html ) Translation of the Skraggenstierna (Skraggensköld, Skragge) part: pastebin.com/9g5533Uy Jan 28, 2014 at 20:48

I'd think the story is highly dubious, and is the sort of 'origin story' that many families concocted over many generations.

That said, James I of Scotland was forced to flee the country and took refuge on the Bass Rock in 1406, before attempting to seek safety in France. However I doubt there were goats on the Bass Rock. It's more famous for gannets.


I just found this which is quite interesting; https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/scrag

There's also possible that the names "Skrauke/Skruk/Skærauke" are traces of Skragge in Norway. ( http://www.disnorge.no/slektsforum/viewtopic.php?t=77590 )

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