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Heredity of the mormaerships was originally in the male line only.After the introduction of the feudal system into Scotland in the 12th century, the earldoms were descendible to heirs general was one of the seven original provinces of Scotland, covering about the same territory as the modern Scottish county of Forfar.According to the Complete Peerage, Gillbride Earl of Angus married as his second wife "the heiress of the earls of Caithness", in another passage stating that she was "sister of Harald Ungi Earl of Caithness".No primary source is cited in support of these statements and it is possible that this marriage, and the supposed parentage of the bride, are entirely speculative, in an attempt to explain the transmission of the half of the earldom of Caithness to Earl Magnus (see below).The first group of seven earldoms, Angus, Atholl, Caithness, Fife, Mar, Moray and Strathearn, corresponds to the seven provinces into which Scotland north of the Firths of Forth and Clyde was divided in the 9th century, reputedly ruled by seven brothers.
He cites no primary source either, and the implication is that Skene is speculating on all the points which he makes.He was apparently installed as Earl of (part) Caithness.There appears to be no surviving contemporary evidence concerning the grant of the earldom.The Pictish Chronicle names Conchar Mormaer of Angus and father of Fynebole Lady of Fettercairn who murdered Kenneth II King of Scotland in 995 in revenge for the slaughter of her only son oat Dunsinane . "Alexander nepos regis Alexandri, Beth comes, Gospatricius Dolfini, Mallus comes, Madach comes, Rothri comes, Gartnach comes, Dufagan comes, Willelmus frater regine, Edwardus constabularius, Gospatricius filius Walthef, Ufieth Alfricus pincerna" witnessed the charter dated to [1114/15] under which "Alexanderrex Scottorum filius regis Malcolmi et regine Margerete et Sibilla regina Scottorum filia Henrici regis Anglie" reformed Scone Abbey, son of --- (-). David I King of Scotland granted protection to the clerics of Deer by undated charter witnessed by "Donchado comite de Fib et Malmori d Athotla et Ggillebrite comite d Engus et Ghgillcomded Mac Aed"] [--- of Dunbar, daughter of GOSPATRICK Earl & his wife ---.The Complete Peerage says that Gillbride seems to have married a daughter of Gospatrick Earl of Dunbar but does not specify the primary source on which this is based --- of Caithness, daughter of ERIK Slagbrellir & his wife Ingigerd Kalisdatter.
However, Balfour Paul refers to a charter "noted in an old Inventory of Oliphant writs, made about 1594, and preserved in the General Register House" which states that King Alexander II granted "the erledom of South Kaythnes" to "Magnus sone to Gylcryst sum tyme erle of Angus".