In this climate of renewed vigour, the contemporary chroniclers may have been keen to emphasise continuity in the earlier royal succession in order to reinforce the legitimacy of the present incumbents and boost national identity.The idea of continuity was probably best served by a lengthy male-line royal ancestry.However, when we read the 11th century Synchronisms of Flann Mainistreach, we see that the information has been expanded to show all the kings as related to each other.
This process of expanded information continues with the Chronicle of the Scots and Picts dated 1177, all of which include additional details about where the kings died and were buried, as well as some further family relationships.
For example Greg (also referred to as Giric or Grime), son of King Kenneth II, whose death is dated to , is named for the first time in the 1251 chronicle.
It is of course not known which earlier sources, since disappeared, may have been used in the compilation of the later manuscripts.
Nevertheless, this phenomenon of expanded information over time does not inspire confidence in the overall reliability of the data.
These burials are not mentioned in the 10th century Cronica but are first referred to in the Chronicle dated 1177, suggesting another case of information introduced into later documentation to reinforce the sense of continuity in early Scottish history.
Other details about the early kings which are contained in the later Scottish chronicles are also dubious.The only reference to succession practice which has been found is the report in the Chronicle of John of Fordun which states that King Kenneth II decreed a change to enable "the nearest survivor in blood to the deceased king to succeed".The move would obviously have been unpopular in the wider royal family, and King Kenneth was not powerful enough to carry it through, as shown by his murder in 995, alleged in the same source to have been committed by his collateral relatives.The earliest available source, the late 10th century Pictish Chronicle Cronica de Origine Antiquorum Pictorum which records events up to 995, contains a bare outline of the names of the kings with some incomplete information about their affiliations and events during their reigns.In particular, the Cronica de Origine includes no information about how King Aedh and King Indulf were related to the main family line.Reliable information now available about the early Scottish kingdom and its kings is therefore limited.