of the Douglas family
The origins of the Douglas family are lost in the mists of time. It is
said that "In the margin, about one-third into The Book of Clan Douglas,
Volume III, are written the words: `This is about the time when the Earth
began'." (Mary Murray, nee Mary Douglas, of Earltown: 1991).
Perhaps, at the time when surnames were first used, a family took the name
of the river that flows though what became known as Douglasdale, possibly
descendnats of Flemish settlers.
There is the following tradition
in regard to the origin of the name. In the year 770 Solvathius king of
Scotland, obtained a victory over Donald Bain of the Western Isles, by the
assistance of a man who was unknown to him. After the battle, being
desirous to see one who had done him so signal a service, he was pointed
out to him with these words: " Sholto Dhuglass," behold that swarthy man.
One of this family, Sir William Douglas, entered into the service
of Charlemagne and was the founder of the family of Douglassi in Tuscany.
Sir James de Douglas took the heart of Robert Bruce to the Holy
Land, to commemorate which his descendants have ever since horn a crowned
heart in their arms. Before the death of Bruce in 1329 the arms of the
family were azure, three mullets argent. (Ane Historie of the House and
Race of Douglas and Angus, David Hume of Godscroft, Edinburgh 1646).
The first recorded Douglas to stride across the stage of Scottish
history was Sir William Douglas who fought and died for William Wallace.
His son, Sir James Douglas was a supporter and lifelong friend of Robert
the Bruce. "Good Sir James" died taking Bruce's heart on a crusade to the
Holy Land. The 2nd Earl of Douglas died at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388
as his army defeated an English force led by Prince Henry "Hotspur". In
1402 the 4th Earl was defeated by the same Henry Hotspur at the Battle of
Homildon Hill. Not many Douglases died in their beds.
Burns and the Douglas connections.
Robert Burns, also known as Rabbie Burns, the
Bard of Ayrshire and various other names and
epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He
is widely regarded as the national poet of
Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. Many
Douglases have already posted photographs of
themselves on social media attending Burns
Robert Burns bought a ticket in 1786 to
travel to Jamaica to work as a slave driver.
Burns in 1786 was faced with many challenges
including penury (the farm he shared with his
brother was losing money); he recently had a
child from his maid; he had Jean Armour pregnant
with twins, and Mary Campbell (Highland Mary)
was also to become pregnant later that year.
Mr. Charles Douglas, to whom Burns engaged
himself through his brother, Dr. Patrick
Douglas, of Ayr, was the owner of at least two
sugar properties. Burns ultimately did not make
it to the island.
Researching our family history can be a
lonely task - but it needn't be. Others
are probably researching similar areas, and by
exchanging information, we can build up our
knowledge more quickly, test ideas and even ask
someone better placed to visit cemeteries,
public record offices or libraries to track down
that elusive ancestor.
Douglas Archives Community Network is a
place where you, our visitor, can interact with
others researching their Douglas history and
genealogy. You can set up your own profile
and page, add a blog, set up a discussion or
post photographs. You can even decide how
your page will look!
There are several
groups serving differing specialist areas or
branches of the family in which to hold
discussions and share progress.
|George Douglas, d2008 ||12/08/2018|
|Captain David Bates Douglass, 1790 - 1849||12/08/2018|
|William Proctor Douglas, b1842||12/08/2018|
|Charles Douglass' Regiment of Marines||11/28/2018|
|Richard Douglas Regiment||11/28/2018|
|Col James Douglas of Morton Regiment||11/28/2018|
|Douglas of Kirkness||11/23/2018|
|The Douglas family in France||11/23/2018|
|Forfar and Kincardine Militia||11/20/2018|
|Fun (peculiar) emails ||11/19/2018|
|Coats of arms - people||11/17/2018|
|Sir James Douglas (c1839)||11/16/2018|
|Douglas of Bonjedward||11/01/2018|
|Douglas of Stonypath||10/31/2018|
|Simon Douglas, living 2010 ||10/19/2018|
|Robert, Baron van Breugel Douglas, 1791-1873||10/19/2018|
|George Douglas, 1st Earl of Dumbarton, 1635 - 1691/2||10/13/2018|
|William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton||10/13/2018|
|Alexander Douglas Douglas, 1843 - 1914||09/20/2018|
|Robert Douglas, 1st Viscount Belhaven, c1572 - 1639||09/18/2018|
|Douglas of Spott||09/18/2018|
|Henry Douglas, Earl of Drumlanrig (1722 - 1774)||09/18/2018|
|Thomas Douglas of Grantham, 1732 - 1787||09/14/2018|
|C K M Douglas, meteorologist||09/12/2018|
|Frederick Douglas, 1817-1895||09/05/2018|
|Captain Thomas Douglas||12/13/2018|
|Rev Thomas Douglas, c1679||12/13/2018|
|Douglas Manor, New York||12/11/2018|
|Douglaston Yacht Squadron||12/08/2018|
|George Douglas, merchantman||12/08/2018|
|Sholto-Douglas Family of South Africa||12/07/2018|
|Cecil Francis Johnstone-Douglas, 1847-1894||12/07/2018|
|Francis Wingfield "Frank" Douglass, 1875–1972)||12/07/2018|
|Register of Testaments in Lanark||11/29/2018|
|James Douglas of Mouswald’s Regiment of Foot||11/28/2018|
|Sir William Douglas’ Regiment of Foot||11/28/2018|
|Sir William Douglas’ Troop of Horse||11/28/2018|
|Colonel Robert Douglas’ Regiment of Foot||11/28/2018|
|Who was The Black Douglas?||11/26/2018|
|The Scottish Wars of Independence||11/26/2018|
|Battle of Byland||11/26/2018|
|Battle of Methven||11/26/2018|
|Storm of Dundee||11/23/2018|
|Archibald Douglas of Darroch’s Regiment of Foot||11/23/2018|
|Douglas of Edrington||11/22/2018|
|The Victoria Cross (VC)||11/19/2018|
|Heatherton Towers, Kwandwe||11/16/2018|
|Rev Thomas Douglas, d1634||11/06/2018|
|James Douglas, d1780||11/05/2018|
|John Douglas, 1946-2016||11/02/2018|
|Barrington Sholto Douglas Campbell, 5th Baron Blythswood, 1877–1937||10/25/2018|
Recent research has revealed considerable
Douglas involvement in the development of
world trade in the sugar industry. but it is
an area about which we wish to learn more.
Can you contribute?
||Douglases on TV
In 1452 James invited William, 8th
Earl of Douglas, to Stirling
Castle. James demanded that Douglas end an
alliance with the MacDonalds. In the
argument that followed Douglas was stabbed
to death. See the
BBC video here>>> and look for 1452 AD
||Want to say
Have you benefitted
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Slaves and slavers
The Douglas Heart
The Douglas Store
Slaves and tales of daring-do, as
the Douglases hunt down the slave traders>>
A heart features on many
Douglas family coats of arms, crests etc, including the one at the top
of this page.
Find out why...
Our store is now open for business! Books, videos and much
more. Visit the Douglas Heritage store...
Are you a Douglas descendant of any of the Earls of Angus, and
descendants of the Earls of Morton prior to the 1700s? The Douglas
DNA project needs samples of men who are known to be descended from
these two lines, in order to verify the DNA types involved. We want
to do this in order to allow modern Douglas families to focus their
geneaological research into the correct branches of the Douglas tree
to find their ancestors. If you are known to descend from these
lines the Douglas DNA project may be able to pay for your DNA
Lineage testing by
We are hoping to make contact with members of the Douglas family who
have been in Europe for centuries. Douglases have been in Sweden,
Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, and possibly other countries, for
many generations. We would like to find male representatives of
these families to assist our Douglas DNA project. The Douglas DNA
project may be able to pay for DNA tests for suitable candidates
from these families.
Lineage testing by
Almost all people of native European descent, wherever they may
live throughout the world, can trace their ancestry back to one
of seven women, hence, the Seven Daughters of Eve.
We have now made available a selection of books on the Douglas
family, Scottish history and genealogy all available direct from
Google news headlines from around the world
on stories involving 'Douglas'.
James Douglas chess piece
This pewter model is part of Nigel Tranter's Bannockburn
Limited Edition Chess Set. This specially devised and
commissioned by Morag and John Morgan exclusively for
Additional models can be seen in our
A slideshow from a visit to Douglas, Lanarkshire, is now
available, depicting The Good Sir James, Douglas Castle and St
James Douglas is a legendary figure in British Columbia, from
his fur trade days at Fort St. James to his dual governorship
of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
How The Douglas Archives
What else is new??
We have collected information from a variety of
sources, some of it contradictory!
Where the errors are obvious, we have corrected
them; where there is doubt, we have shown both options.
Scripts from old documents may not have scanned
in well, and these will be amended as time goes by.
The early history of the Douglases is far from
certain. Early chroniclers often got it wrong. The editor of The
Douglas Archives claims to be no better! Researchers are, as always, advised to verify
information before taking it as gospel.
There are two search options - one for the history section and one
for the genealogy section. Try both to find your missing ancestor.
Oh yes! The community network also has its own search facility.
If you find something wrong -
let us know. If you find something missing -
tell us what it is. This Archive is built from everyone's
contributions. Thank you.
Major changes to the site will be notified through our Community
Network. Additions and significant revisions
to the History section are listed above.
Details of the last 12 individuals added to
the database in the past 30 days are automatically recorded. With
over 180,000 names, this growing resource will prove invaluable to
A TV programme charting the lively lifestyle of
Princess Margaret has thrown up some interesting Douglas
The royal marriage between Prince William and Catherine Middleton
brings more Douglas connections.
Further royal connections can be discovered
Edinburgh Castle was the site of
the infamous "Black Bull's Dinner" where 16 year old sixth
Earl of Douglas and his 14 year old brother David were
murdered in front of their 10 year old King (James II). >>
Concerns are being expressed about the
future of the Mausoleum in Castle Douglas
The Scots won the
battle and captured the English leader Henry (Hotspur) Percy.
When he offered to capitulate, he was directed to surrender to
the bush under which Douglas was lying and so the battle became
famous because it was won by a dead man.>>
Not all Douglases have
been goody goodies - read about horse thieves, and others.
Other stories of interest can be found in our
Our place in history
"In the margin, about one-third into The Book
of Clan Douglas, Volume III, are written the words: `This is
about the time when the Earth began'." (Mary Murray, nee Mary
Douglas, of Earltown: 1991)
I have still a lot of work to do on this
section, and all contributions will be welcomed.
to enlarge this picture of Lance Corporal of Horse Chris
'Dougie' Douglass, serving in Afghanistan with Prince
The father of Lance Corporal of Horse Chris
'Dougie' Douglass, 27, had wondered why his son
had stayed so tight-lipped about his desert
Gary Douglass, 55, from Sunderland said:
"Usually he sends us emails and rings to let us
know he's OK. But this time he did not tell us
much about what he was doing. Now we know why.
His mother has been very worried about him."
Chris, who lives in Army accommodation in
London with his wife and two children, Jake, 11,
and Reece, five, said: "Harry's always got a
smile on his face. Nobody cares about his
How many ancestors do I have?
I have been wondering how many ancestors I might have...
Two parents, four
grandparents, eight great grandparents... If I continue this series back
at 3 generations per century, I find I have over a billion Viking-era
ancestors. And 10^18 in the Roman era. And so on. This is plainly wrong.
Where is the flaw in the logic?