Discovering unknown medieval descents: a genetic approach - medieval genealogy for the masses

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Genetic genealogy, combining the use of documentary evidence with DNA test results, holds the potential to reveal previously unknown medieval descents for those with little documentary evidence of their ancestry. The work undertaken as part of the Battle of Bannockburn and the Declaration of Arbroath Family History Projects has developed methodologies to advance studies of this nature which are described in this article. Covering various aspects of the process including ethical issues, the role of documentary evidence and appropriate types of DNA testing, the article includes several case studies.
The article argues that genetic genealogy can provide a gateway to medieval genealogy for the masses.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Specialist publicationFoundations
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2020


  • genetic genealogy
  • DNA
  • medieval ancestry
  • Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project
  • Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project

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