Isle of Man History

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Effective family research requires understanding the historic events that affected your family and the records about them. Learning about wars, local events, laws, migrations, settlement patterns, and economic or religious trends may help you understand family movements. These events may have led to the creation of records, such as poor law records or military records, that mention your family.

Your ancestors will be more interesting if you learn about the events that shaped their lives. For example, a history may tell you what events occurred in the year your ancestor married and how those events may have impacted their decisions.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

The Isle of Man has been inhabited since the Mesolithic Period and came under Celtic influence during the Iron Age. It had a turbulent history and came under the rule of the Norse in 1079 but in 1266, Norway's King Magnus VI ceded the island to Scotland. The Isle of Man came under English control in the fourteenth century.

The head of state of the Isle of Man is the head of state of the United Kingdom, who holds the title of Lord of Mann and is represented on the island by a Lieutenant Governor. The country's government, Tynwald, thought to have been founded in 979, is one of the oldest established governments in Europe.

  • 5000 BC First inhabitants arrive on the Isle of Man
  • 1000 Celtics arrive on island. Their influence on the culture and language remains until the 19th century. The Celtic language, Manx (closely related to Gaelic), remained the everyday language of the island until the first half of the 19th century.
  • 400s CE Beginning of Irish immigration to the island
  • 400s-500s Isle of Man converted to Christianity by Irish missionaries
  • 800 Vikings (Norse) began invading and plundering the island
  • 1079 Island conquered by the Norse and ruled by kings of Norway
  • 1130s Catholic Church established first bishopric on Isle of Man
  • 1261 Scotland king negotiates the cession of the island; war results when Norway refuses
  • 1266 Norway's King Magnus VI ceded the Isle of Man to Scotland
  • 1300s Island transferred hands between Scotland and England multiple times before coming under complete English control