Robert the Bruce, I, King of Scotland (11 Jul 1274-7 Jun 1329, reigned 1306-1329) is my 21st great-grandfather…at least according to the paper trail. 🙂
I am really thrilled about this connection, and I do hope it is totally true! But so many “greats” takes away some of my confidence because the likelihood of over 700 years of perfect record keeping and no infidelities would be quite remarkable! 😉
From, The Story of a Nation by Magnus Magnusson, c 2000, page 113:
“Robert Bruce was descended from an old Normandy family named de Brus, from Bruis (Brix), who were given lands in north Yorkshire by Henry I; the family came to Scotland in the reign of David I in about 1120, when Robert de Brus was granted the Lordship of Annandale and its attendant castles of Annan and Lochmaben as a military fief in what is now Dumfriesshire.”
Robert the Bruce’s only surviving son, David II, did not leave any male heirs (or any issue at all!) and so there are no male descendants of Robert the Bruce (1274-1329). That means that there is no way to try to prove, though y-DNA, a connection. I have a hope that some day geneticists will come up with a way to make a connection using mt-DNA, but until that day, all we have to work with is the paper record.
Supposedly, Robert’s heart is in a lead cone that is in a casket in Scotland. I don’t know if geneticists could get at the cone and get a sample of DNA from his heart, but I think it would be worth trying!
In the meantime, I will keep trying to improve our paper trail and I will hang on to the hope that he is indeed my 21st great-grandfather, until evidence is found to the contrary.
So get ready to party, because 2014 is the 700th anniversary year of the Battle of Bannockburn (24 Jun 1314), when Robert the Bruce led his Scottish army to victory against England’s King Edward II! Scotland is planning many celebrations and it would be an amazing time to visit there in 2014!
But if ye can’t make it to Scotland, don’t worry, as there are some fun websites that will help you celebrate where ever you are in the world. Here are just a few:
Battle of Bannockburn Website – Information, products, and even a countdown clock! “The Battle of Bannockburn project is an exciting partnership between the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund.” http://www.battleofbannockburn.com
Rebel King, Bannockburn – historical fiction about the Robert the Bruce and the Battle of Bannockburn.