Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project To mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 2014, we ran the Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project, to throw light on the participants in the Battle from a genealogical point of view.

There are two strands to the Project

  • Documentary strand
    This features biographical information and coats of arms of 70 of the combatants and genealogies of their families over four generations.
    According to our research, the number of combatants in the Battle who are named in primary sources amount to 161 individuals (142 English, 19 Scottish), while the names of another 125 individuals who may have been present appear in secondary sources. The major primary sources used were several chronicles, particularly The continuation of the annals of Nicholas Trivet, the Calendar of documents relating to Scotland and a number of rolls of arms from the period.
  • Genetic Genealogy Project
    Genetic genealogy is becoming more and more important as a tool for genealogical research and this strand of the Project aims to show the power of genetic genealogy by revealing living descendants of combatants in the Battle. Having identified several male line descendants of combatants using documentary sources, we invited them to take a DNA test, and then attempted to find another individual who closely matched each testee. If successful, this would show that the second individual was descended from the same combatant, despite having no supporting documentary evidence.

Some of the results of this Project can be seen by clicking the links on this page.

For further information please contact Graham S Holton at

Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project The University of Strathclyde Genealogical Studies Postgraduate Programme is launching the Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project in association with the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy just as the new Netflix film on King Robert the Bruce Outlaw King is released (9 November). King Robert’s mission, to gain recognition for Scotland as an independent nation, particularly from England, following the Scottish War of Independence, led to the creation of a letter to the Pope in 1320, which has become known as the Declaration of Arbroath. The letter was sent on behalf of the nobles and barons of Scotland, many of whom were named in and attached their seals to the document. The new Project will see both students and staff carry out research into these individuals and their families, culminating in an exhibition which it is hoped will tour several venues. It will also involve a genetic genealogy strand, to discover previously unknown descents from these individuals through DNA testing.

Progress report 1, 3 December 2018

Documentary strand

The first batch of student work contributing to the Project has been submitted. We now have research findings on 23 individuals associated with the Declaration, in addition to findings on another 8 who had previously been researched as part of the Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project. These findings consist of brief biographies, four generation genealogies showing descendants of the grandparents of the focus individual and details of coats of arms. The list of their names can be found on the Strathclyde genealogy website at
Research is still to be carried out on another 17 individuals.

Genetic genealogy strand

We already have access to one DNA test result from a documented male line descendant of an individual associated with the Declaration and several others have been identified whom it is hoped may be willing to participate in the Project by taking a DNA test. E-mails have also been sent to a number of relevant DNA surname projects to discover whether documented male line descendants have already taken DNA tests and are members of a project. If so, it is hoped that we can cooperate with specific projects to carry out genetic genealogy research into the families of those associated with the Declaration.


Following consultation with Historic Environment Scotland, it has been confirmed that the Project Exhibition will be held initially at Arbroath Abbey from 3 July to 14 August 2020.
Quotations for the hire of display boards and printing are now being sought.