The Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project: context, results and genetic genealogy methodologies

by Graham S Holton[1] and Alasdair F Macdonald [2]


The following article refers to some challenges in the study of medieval genealogy in providing a context for the work of the Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project, which examined the lives, families and heraldry of the 48 ‘signatories’ of the Declaration of 1320. This constituted the documentary strand of the Project, which was designed both to provide a learning experience for postgraduate students and to create a major resource of genealogical and heraldic information. Based on this information the research results for five lesser known signatories and their families are included here.

The genetic genealogy strand of the Project aimed to develop the potential of DNA testing as a means of discovering unknown early descents.  The value of this approach was illustrated through reaching significant conclusions on the identification of distinct genetic markers for descents from historical individuals of the medieval period. In this article we look at some of the results of this process, describe methodologies used and look forward to planned future areas of research.

Foundations (2021) 13: 56-78                                © Copyright FMG and the authors

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