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  • Ge Ghi Ni La (1722 - aft.1757)
    Only known child of Oconostota 'Stalking Turkey' . Oconostota had one known child, a son.
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    John Heron of Chipchase, married Joan, da. of Sir Nicholas Ridley of Willimoteswyke. From In 1536 the Catholic rising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace collapsed. This was an attempt to prevent the R...

Border Reivers

Scope of Project

To explore the culture and families of the counties known as the Badlands (England) and Scottish Borders (Scotland). Please collaborate and build our family trees for the original "Hatfields and McCoys."



What was a Reiver? Expert Keith Durham (author of "Reivers" and "The Border Reivers") describes him thus:

a professional rustler and guerilla soldier, skilled in the art of raiding, tracking and ambush. He was a fine light horseman but was also prepared to murder remorselessly and to run large scale protection rackets, giving the words 'blackmail', 'bereaved' and 'gang' to the English language.

Descendants of Reivers

Border surnames can also be found throughout the major areas of Scotch-Irish settlement in the United States, and particularly in the Appalachian region. The historian David Hackett Fischer (1989) has shown in detail how English border culture became rooted in parts of the United States. Author George MacDonald Fraser wryly observed or imagined Border traits and names among controversial people in modern American history; Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, among others. It is also noted that, in 1969, a descendent of the Borderers, Neil Armstrong, was the first person to set foot on the moon. In the following year, Mr. Armstrong visited the town of Langholm, home of his ancestors.


* please feel free to add narrative, documents and images about your Border families.

General Note

  • If you would like to contribute to this page, please feel free to edit it. Click here for instructions about using Wiki markup language.
  • Send a message to the Project Manager to join us: collaborate, research, discuss, merge. A lot to do and a whole lot to learn.

Join the discussion


tags are based on the categorization schema in Wikipedia

  • Events: 1530: King James V of Scotland took action against the lawless clans of the Debatable Land and imprisoned the Lords Bothwell, Maxwell and Home, Walter Scott of Buccleuch, and other border lairds for their lack of action. James took various other actions, but significantly he broke the strength of the Armstrongs by hanging Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie and thirty-one others at Carlanrig Chapel under questionable circumstances.
  • Events: 1603: King James VI of Scotland issued a proclamation in Newcastle: "the borders were now "the heart of the country" and that "no supply should be given to all rebels and disorderly persons, their wives or their bairnes (children) and that they be prosecuted with fire and sword." This came to be known as "Jeddart Justice" (hang them first, ask questions after).
  • Activities: Reiving
  • "Reive" is an early English word for "to rob", from the Northumbrian and Scots Inglis verb reifen from the Old English rēafian, and thus related to the archaic Standard English verb reave ("to plunder", "to rob")
  • Places: The Debatable Lands
  • Timelines: Timeline of Scottish history
  • Topics: Cultural history of the United States
  • Series: Notables


Geni Profiles

  • the House of Douglas and Angus begins with William I, Lord of Douglas (William, 1st Laird de Douglas, 1174-1214)
  • William I, Lord of Douglas
  • the last chief was Archibald Douglas, the 1st Duke of Douglas, who died 21 July 1761


Please insert the URL of a Project profiles you consider notable here.

The Borders of North Britain


The North British emigration to America drew heavily from counties that touched upon the Irish Sea: Ayr, Dumfries and Wigtown in Scotland; Cumberland and Westmorland in England; Derry, Antrim and Down in Ireland. The sea itself united its surrounding lands in a single cultural region.

To a traveler who enters this border region from the south of England, the landscape seems strange and forbidding even today. As one drives northward on the M6 motorway, the first impression is of a bare and empty country, which by comparison with the teeming English Midlands appears almost uninhabited. The terrain is uneven a stark succession of barren hills and deep valleys.

To wander through the damp dungeons of Carlisle Castle, and to study the strange graffiti carved in its walls by captives many centuries ago, is to feel once again the violence of life upon the border. Everywhere in the region one still discovers ruined walls and crenellated towers which are memorials to its violent past.

The border derived its cultural character from one decisive historical fact. For seven centuries, the kings of Scotland and England could not agree who owned it, and meddled constantly in each other's affairs.

From the year 1040 to 1745, every English monarch but three suffered a Scottish invasion, or became an invader in his turn. In the same period, most Scottish kings went to war against England, and many died "with their boots on," as the border saying went.

Yet dynastic struggles between the monarchs of England and Scotland were only a small part of the border's sufferings. The quarrels of kings became a criminal's opportunity to rob and rape and murder with impunity. On both sides of the border, and especially in the "debatable land" that was claimed by both kingdoms, powerful clans called Taylor, Bell, Graham and Bankhead lived outside the law, and were said to be "Scottish when they will, and English at their pleasure." They made a profession of preying upon their neighbors "reiving," it was called along the border.

This incessant violence shaped the culture of the border region, and created a social system which was very different from that in the south of England.

Endemic violence also had an effect upon the economy, which lagged far behind other parts of England in the pace and pattern of its development. Border violence also made a difference in patterns of association. In a world of treachery and danger, blood relationships became highly important. Families grew into clans, and kinsmen placed fidelity to family above loyalty to the crown itself.

This border culture was carried across the Irish Sea to Ulster by the settlers who would be called Scotch-Irish and Anglo-Irish. Those immigrants came from many parts of Scotland and England, but an historian observes that "the greatest numbers came from the Borders." In Ireland they found another environment of endemic violence. There the old folkways survived for centuries after they had disappeared on the border itself, and still go on today in northern Ireland, with its Protestant drums and Catholic bombs and savage knee-cappings and tortures in the Maze. In the unceasing torment of that beautiful ravaged land, the long legacy of border violence still bears its bitter fruit.

But in the borderlands themselves, the old culture began to be transformed in the seventeenth century mainly by new political conditions. The two warring kindgoms gradually became one, in a long consolidation that began when Scotland's James VI inherited the English throne in 1603, and ended in the Act of Union in 1706-7.

In this process, the borders experienced a sweeping social revolution. The pacification of this bloody region required the disruption of a culture that had been a millennium in the making. Gallows were erected on hills throughout the English border counties, and put busily to work. Thrifty Scots saved the expense of a rope by drowning their reivers instead of hanging them, sometimes ten or twenty at a time. Entire families were outlawed en masse, and some were extirpated by punitive expeditions. Many were forcibly resettled in Ireland, where officials complained that they were "as difficult to manage in Ireland as in north Cumberland," and banished them once again this time to the colonies. The so-called Scotch-Irish who came to America thus included a double-distilled selection of some of the most disorderly inhabitants of a deeply disordered land.

The cause of these various troubles was a social transformation of high complexity. Their consequence was a surge of emigration so strong that observers compared it to an "epidemic" or "rage" or "distemper." Authorities were appalled by the loss of population, but could find no way to stop it. One of them wrote in 1728:

The whole north is in a ferment at present, and people every day engaged one another to go next year to the West Indies. The humour has spread like a contagious distemper, and the people will hardly hear of anybody that tries to cure them of their madness. The worst is, it affects only Protestants.

In Ireland, so desperate did people become that some attempted to escape in open boats across the Irish Sea and drowned in those treacherous waters.

These people were refugees from a great historical transformation which had caught them in its complex coils. Some wished only to keep their own customs; others thought more of the future than the past. For both groups, the New World held the promise of a happiness which eluded them at home. In their teeming thousands they fled to America.

Reiver Origins


The border region between Scotland and England has been a melting pot since before The Middle Ages. According to James Leyburn, author of The Scotch-Irish, the Lowland Scots were a mixture of eight main groups - Picts, Gaelic Scotti, Brythonic Celts, Irish emigrants, Angles, Saxons, Norse and the descendants of the soldiers who manned the frontier forts of Roman Britain. These, plus a smattering of Norman nobles and Flemish traders - even a few Hungarian courtiers from the entourage of Margaret Atheling, bride of Malcolm Canmore - made the people of this region one of the most diverse in the Medieval British Isles.

Certain groups were more prevalent in some areas than in others. The Flemish gravitated to Edinburgh, while Northumbria was ruled by Angles and Danes. Irish-Norwegian Vikings, fleeing from The Battle of Clontarf in 1014, sailed from Dublin to Cumbria, and settled from the coast to the Pennines. Celtic tribes like the Brigantes preceded the Norse in Cumbria, while the Gall-Gaedhil - Irish Gaels who had defected to the pagan ways of the Vikings - merged with the native Britons of Galloway.

Sarmatian cavalrymen, drafted from the plains of Hungary and the Russian steppes to support the interests of Rome, stayed to settle in Lancashire. Here, over time, they became as much Celtic as Roman, possibly contributing to the legend of King Arthur's mounted knights. Centuries later, more soldiers came, and Norman families like the De Bruses and the De Vauxes raised castles all across the land.

All these groups became, collectively, the ancestors of the Border Reivers.

DNA Project Results


"So far we have discovered that, although a moderate majority of the Reivers’ descendents most likely have British Celtic ancestors, their ancestry as a whole is quite diverse. Many are clearly of Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian origin. Others exhibit DNA profiles that may once have been North African or Middle Eastern or, like my own profile, bear an uncanny affinity with the people of eastern Europe or with the steppes of central Asia."

The study also suggests that the large number of Roman troops stationed along Hadrian’s Wall may have left a strong impact on the genetic heritage of the people of the Borders.

The Border Reivers


From the 14th to 16th centuries, the border regions of England and Scotland became a permanent battleground. The family clans of the border hills took advantage of the struggle between the two Kingdoms to live in a state of semi-lawlessness. They were rugged, tough people who enforced their own brutal code of conduct and became known as the Border raiders or 'Reivers'. Today their descendents can be found all over the world and include British Prime Ministers, American Presidents and the first man on the Moon. The history of the Border Reivers has many similarities to the American Wild West. It produced its share of outlaws and broken men, corrupt officials, greed, misery and fights for survival. Arson, murder and blood feud were commonplace in these troubled times. 

The stamp of the Reivers is still to be seen on the Border Lands - in it's architecture, culture and people. From the fortified tower houses and farms to family names that once struck fear into men's hearts - Armstrongs, Carruthers, Douglas, Grahams, Kerrs, Maxwells, Nixons, Robsons - the legacy of the Reivers remains. In these violent times, crops were destroyed, homesteads burnt and the people murdered or dispersed. Robbery and blackmail were everyday professions. If one member of a clan did harm to another, the issue would not simply be between the two individuals - the whole of both families would be drawn in, often with terrible consequences.

Border 'Names' and Clan status


The border families can be referred to as clans, as the Scots themselves appear to have used both terms interchangeably until the 19th century. In an Act of the Scottish Parliament of 1597 there is the description of the "Chiftanis and chieffis of all clannis… duelland in the hielands or bordouris" - thus using the word clan and chief to describe both Highland and Lowland families. The act goes on to list the various Border clans. Later, Sir George MacKenzie of Rosehaugh, the Lord Advocate (Attorney General) writing in 1680 said "By the term 'chief' we call the representative of the family from the word chef or head and in the Irish (Gaelic) with us the chief of the family is called the head of the clan". Thus, the words chief or head, and clan or family, are interchangeable. It is therefore possible to talk of the MacDonald family or the Maxwell clan. The idea that Highlanders should be listed as clans while the Lowlanders are listed as families originated as a 19th century convention.

Other terms were also used to describe the Border families, such as the "Riding Surnames" and the "Graynes" thereof. This can be equated to the system of the Highland Clans and their Sept (social)|septs. e.g. Clan Donald and Clan MacDonald of Sleat, can be compared with the Duke of Buccleuch|Scotts of Buccleuch and the Scotts of Harden and elsewhere. Both Border Graynes and Highland septs however, had the essential feature of patriarchal leadership by the chief of the name, and had territories in which most of their kindred lived. Border families did practice customs similar to those of the Gaels, such as tutorship when an heir who was a minor succeeded to the chiefship, and giving bonds of manrent. Although feudalism existed, tribal loyalty was much more important and this is what distinguished the Borderers from other lowland Scots.Citation neededdate=July 2008

In 1587 the Parliament of Scotland passed a statute: For the quieting and keping in obiedince of the disorderit subjectis inhabitantis of the borders hielands and Ilis..<ref>Great Britain III Acts of the Parliament of Scotland pp.466-7 (1587)</ref> Attached to the statute was a Roll of surnames from both the Borders and Highlands. The Borders portion listed 17 'clannis' with a Chief and their associated Marches:

Of the Border Clans or Graynes listed on this roll, Clan Elliot|Elliot, Clan Armstrong|Armstrong, Clan Scott|Scott, Little, Clan Irvine|Irvine, Bell, Clan Graham|Graham, Clan Johnstone|Johnstone, Clan Jardine|Jardine and Clan Moffat|Moffat are registered with the Court of Lord Lyon in Edinburgh as Scottish Clans.

The historic riding surnames, as recorded by George MacDonald Fraser in The Steel Bonnets, are:

  • East March
    • Scotland: Clan Home|Hume, Clan Trotter|Trotter, Dixon, Bromfield, Craw, Clan Cranstoun|Cranston.
    • England: Forster, Selby, Gray, Dunn.
  • Middle March
    • Scotland: Burn, Clan Kerr|Kerr, Young, Pringle, Davison, Gilchrist, Tait of East Teviotdale. Clan Scott|Scott, Oliver, Clan Turnbull|Turnbull, Rutherford of West Teviotdale. Clan Armstrong|Armstrong, Clan Crozier|Croser, Clan Eliott|Elliot, Nixon, Clan Douglas|Douglas, Laidlaw, Turner, Clan Henderson|Henderson of Liddesdale.
    • England: Anderson, Potts, Reed (name)|Reed, Hall, Hedley of Redesdale. Charlton, Robson, Dodd, Milburn, Yarrow, Stapleton (surname)|Stapleton of Tynedale. Also Fenwick, Ogle, Heron, Witherington, Medford, Collingwood, Carnaby, Shaftoe, Ridley, Stokoe, Stamper, Wilkinson, Hunter, Thomson (surname)|Thomson, Jamieson.
  • West March
    • Scotland: Bell, Clan Irvine|Irvine, Clan Johnstone|Johnstone, Clan Maxwell|Maxwell, Carlisle, Beattie, Little, Carruthers, Sir Simon (Warden, Died 1484), Glendenning, Clan Moffat|Moffat.
    • England: Graham, Hetherington, Musgrave, Storey, Lowther, Curwen, Salkeld, Dacre, Harden, Hodgson, Routledge, Tailor, Noble.

Relationships between the Border clans varied from uneasy alliance to open "deadly feud". It took little to start a feud; a chance quarrel or misuse of office was sufficient. Feuds might continue for years until patched up in the face of invasion from the other kingdoms, or when the outbreak of other feuds caused alliances to shift. The border was easily destabilised if Graynes from opposite sides of the border were at feud. Feuds also provided ready excuse for particularly murderous raids or pursuits.



The reivers were both English and Scottish and raided both sides of the border impartially, so long as the people they raided had no powerful protectors and no connection to their own kin. Their activities, although usually within a day's ride of the Border, extended both north and south of their main haunts. English raiders were reported to have hit the outskirts of Edinburgh, and Scottish raids were known as far south as Yorkshire. The main raiding season ran through the early winter months, when the nights were longest and the cattle and horses fat from having spent the summer grazing.

The inhabitants had to live in a state of constant alert, and for self-protection, they built fortified tower houses, such as the bastle houses and Peel towers which are characteristic of this area and period. Smailholm Tower is one of many surviving Peel towers.

When raiding, or riding, as it was termed, the Reivers rode light on hardy nags or ponies renowned for the ability to pick their way over the boggy moss lands (see: Galloway pony, Hobelar). The original dress of a Northumbrian tartan|shepherd's plaid was later replaced by light armour such as Brigandines or Jack of plate|jacks of plaite (a type of sleeveless doublet into which small plates of steel were stitched), and a metal helmet such as a burgonet or Morion (helmet)|morion; hence their nickname of the steel bonnets. They were armed with a lance and small shield, and sometimes also with a longbow, or a light crossbow known as a "latch", or later on in their history with a dirk.

Demise of the Reivers


In 1603 James VI of Scotland became James I of England and he immediately set about unifying the two countries. James was determined to have a United Kingdom and one priority was to pacify the Border country and restore law and order. He wasted no time and in April of that year he issued a proclamation in Newcastle on his journey south to London for his accession to the throne. The Marches and the posts of Wardens were abolished. The term 'the Borders' was forbidden and the old frontier ceased to exist. James affirmed that the borders were now "the heart of the country" and that "no supply should be given to all rebels and disorderly persons, their wives or their bairnes (children) and that they be prosecuted with fire and sword".

The Elliots, Armstrongs and Grahams were singled out for special attention. In the days between the death of Queen Elizabeth and the proclamation of James as King, they had taken full advantage, launching a massive raid into Cumbria where they stole nearly 5,000 sheep. This was known as 'Ill Week'. However they suffered gravely for it and this signalled the beginning of the end of the Reivers.

The three clans paid dearly for their lawless behaviour, being exiled in Ireland were they were abandoned and forced to scrape out a meagre living amongst the moors and bogs of Roscommon and Connaught. It was stressed that the death penalty awaited any who attempted return. Only a few reiver families remained, adopting a peaceful way of life. The vast majority moved into England, Ireland, America and elsewhere, where their descendents live and prosper to this day.

Long after they were gone, the reivers were romanticized by writers such as Sir Walter Scott (Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border), although he got things wrong; the term Moss-trooper refers to one of the robbers that existed after the real Reivers had been put down. Nevertheless, Scott was a native of the borders, writing down histories which had been passed on in folk tradition or ballad. The stories of legendary border reivers like Kinmont Willie Armstrong were often retold in folk-song as Border ballads. There are also local legends, such as the "Dish of Spurs" which would be served to a border chieftain of the Charltons to remind him that the larder was empty and it was time to acquire more plunder. Scottish author Nigel Tranter revisited these themes in his historical and contemporary novels.

Borderers (particularly those banished by James VI of Scotland) took part in the plantation of Ulster becoming the people known as Ulster-Scots (Scotch-Irish American|Scotch-Irish in America). Reiver descendants can be found throughout Ulster with names such as Elliot, Armstrong, Beattie, Bell, Hume and Heron, Rutledge, and Turnbulls amongst others.

House of Douglas and Angus and the Border Reivers

Threave Castle stands on an island in the River Dee, 1 mile west of Castle Douglas in Kirkcudbrightshire. The tall forbidding tower was built by Archibald Douglas, Lord of Galloway and leader of the clan known as the 'Black Douglases'. 'The Grim' was so named by the English because of his 'terrible countenance' in battle and in 1384 Archibald finally ousted his enemy from their stronghold of Lochmaben Castle near Dumfries. This ended the English occupation of the Scottish West March and earned him the acclaim of his fellow borderers.

Seat of the Maxwell family for over 400 years, Caerlaverock at the mouth of the River Nith, is one of Scotland's most impressive medieval fortresses. Its triangular courtyard, unique in Scotland, is enclosed by a high curtain wall with round towers at each corner, protected by a double moat, it was also one of strongest. The first castle was built here in 1220, but was soon abandoned probably because of the instability of the marshy ground. Soon after, in 1270, the present castle was built by Sir Herbert de Maxwell slightly further back from the shore. Since then the coastline has receded.

For much of this period, the Maxwell family were Wardens of the Scottish West March with the difficult task of maintaining law and order, keeping their own countrymen in check and defending their own part of the border against English raids. The Maxwells acquired more land and power in the West March and were not above reiving themselves. Long coveted as a strategic prize by English eyes, Caerlaverock Castle was their great stronghold, able to defy even large invading forces.


Let's explore the relationship between the House of Douglas and their feudal tenants. Were the Douglas' enemies of the Border Reivers? Employers? Overlords? Brothers-in-law? How did it shift over time?


Douglas is the name of an ancient and once very powerful family in Scotland, long the rival of Royalty. Border Reivers were raiders along the Anglo–Scottish border from the late 13th century to the end of the 16th century. Their ranks consisted of both Scottish and English families, and they raided the entire border country.

Clan Douglas


The Douglases were considered to be the most influential and powerful of the Lowland families and who at the height of their powers were possibly the greatest family in Scotland. Since they were Lowlanders, rather than Highlanders, they were technically not a clan, but rather just a very powerful family. The first recorded use of the Douglas surname was by William de Duglas, who signed numerous official charters between 1175 and 1213. William, who died in 1214, was the father to six sons and a daughter. Along with Archibald de Douglas, heir to the Douglas estates, there were Brice, Bishop of Moray; Alexander, Canon of Spynie and Vicar of Elgin; Henry, Canon of Spynie and Clerk of Bishop; Hugh, Archdeacon of Moray; Freskin, Dean of Moray; and Margaret.


Origins of the clan


According to tradition the Douglases took their name from the Scottish Gaelic|Gaelic placename "Dubh glas" meaning "black-blue/green" (stream). One old tradition is that the first chief of Clan Douglas was Sholto Douglas who helped the king of Scotland win a battle in the year 767. This is unsubstantiated.

The true progenitor of Clan Douglas was almost certainly "Theobaldus Flammatius" (Theobald the Flemming), who received in 1147 the lands near Douglas Water in Lanarkshire in return for services for the Abbot of Kelso.

Although the Douglases were first recorded in the 1170s, the Douglas family names consisted of Arkenbald and Freskin, and were undoubtedly related to the Clan Murray, and to be of Flemish origin. The Clan Murray were descended from a Flemish knight called Freskin. Though the Flemish origin of the Douglases is not undisputed, it is often claimed that the Douglases were descended from a Flemings|Flemish knight who was granted lands on the Douglas Water by the Abbot of Kelso, who held the barony and lordship of Holydean. However this is disputed, it has been claimed that the lands which were granted to this knight were not the lands which the Douglas family came from.

In 1179 William I, Lord of Douglas|William Douglas was Lord of Douglas and it seems likely that he was Theobald the Flemming's son and the first to take the surname Douglas.

Douglas castles


  • Aberdour Castle, Fife, held by the Earls of Morton (partially preserved).
  • Balvenie Castle, Moray, held by James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas (ruined).
  • Berwick Castle, Northumberland. Governed by William Douglas (le Hardi)|William "le Hardi".(ruined, now forms part of Berwick-upon-Tweed train station)
  • Bothwell Castle, South Lanarkshire (ruins).
  • Bowhill House, Selkirkshire. Home of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry (preserved).
  • Dalkeith Palace|Dalkeith Castle, Mid-Lothian. (heavily converted)
  • Douglas Castle in South Lanarkshire (now only minimal ruins remain).
  • Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries and Galloway. 17th century mansion house of the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry (preserved).
  • Grangemuir|Grangemuir House, Fife
  • Hermitage Castle, Roxburghshire, 13th century Douglas stronghold (restored ruin).
  • Hume Castle, Berwickshire. ancient links with Douglas, home of Sir Alexander Douglas.
  • Kilspindie Castle, East Lothian. Home to the Douglases of Kilspindie, (scant ruins)
  • Lennoxlove House, East Lothian. Home of the Duke of Hamilton, (also the Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale, Earl of Angus etc.) (preserved).
  • Loch Leven Castle, Kinross. First home of the Earl of Morton (ruins).
  • Lochindorb Castle, Strathspey
  • Morton Castle, Nithsdale, Dumfries and Galloway. ruined former home of the Douglas Earls of Morton.
  • Newark Castle, Selkirkshire
  • Ormond Castle, Black Isle
  • Roxburgh Castle, captured by Sir James Douglas.
  • Sandilands Castle, Fife (ruins).
  • Strathaven Castle, South Lanarkshire
  • Strathendry Castle, Fife
  • Tantallon Castle, East Lothian. Stronghold of the Red Douglases (partially ruined).
  • Threave Castle, Dumfries and Galloway (ruins).
  • Timpendean Tower, Roxburghshire (ruins).

In the Highlander (franchise)|Highlander novel Highlander: Scotland the Brave|Scotland the Brave, James Douglas (Highlander)|James Douglas is a fictional Scot born into Clan Douglas and died his First Death in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden.

House of Douglas and Angus


This category unites male-line descendants of Scottish noble family Douglas, their daughters and wives, even if they are or were using other surnames. It also contains buildings, structures and events that were heavily infuenced by them.

   * Marquess of Queensberry
   * Earl of Selkirk
   * Duke of Hamilton
   * Earl of Morton
   * Baron Penrhyn
   * Lord of Abernethy
   * Earl of Angus
   * Earl of Ruglen
   * Earl of Douglas
   * Clan Douglas
   * Douglas, South Lanarkshire
   * Earl of Ormond (Scotland)
   * Douglases of Grangemuir
   * Douglas of Mains
   * Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
   * Liddesdale
   * Douglas Water
   * Battle of Ancrum Moor
   * Battle of Arkinholm
   * Battle of Halidon Hill
   * Battle of Humbleton Hill
   * Battle of Lochmaben Fair
   * Battle of Myton
   * Battle of Otterburn
   * Battle of Piperdean
   * Battle of Sark
   * Battle of Stanhope Park
   * Battle of Verneuil
   * Bothwell Castle
   * Douglas Castle
   * Drumlanrig Castle
   * Hermitage Castle
   * Loch Leven Castle
   * Newark Castle, Selkirkshire
   * Tantallon Castle
   * Threave Castle

==Project Profiles==


   * Alexander Douglas (fl. 1528)
   * Alexander Douglas-Hamilton, 16th Duke of Hamilton
   * Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton
   * Alfred Douglas-Hamilton, 13th Duke of Hamilton
   * Angus Douglas-Hamilton, 15th Duke of Hamilton
   * Angus Falconer Douglas-Hamilton
   * Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus
   * Archibald Douglas (the Tyneman)
   * Archibald Douglas of Glenbervie
   * Archibald Douglas, 1st Duke of Douglas

A cont.

   * Archibald the Grim
   * Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas
   * Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas
   * Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus
   * Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus
   * Archibald Douglas, Earl of Moray
   * Archibald Douglas (1883-1960)
   * Lord Archibald Hamilton
   * Archibald Hamilton, 9th Duke of Hamilton
   * Archibald I, Lord of Douglas
   * Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern


   * Bricius de Douglas


   * Charles Douglas, 6th Marquess of Queensberry
   * Charles Douglas, 3rd Duke of Queensberry


   * Douglas Hamilton, 8th Duke of Hamilton
   * Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
   * George Douglas, Master of Angus
   * Catherine Douglas
   * Douglas-Hamilton
   * Saba Douglas-Hamilton


   * Edward Douglas-Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn
   * Edward Douglas-Pennant, 3rd Baron Penrhyn


   * George Douglas (bishop)
   * George Douglas, 1st Earl of Dumbarton
   * George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus
   * George Douglas, 16th Earl of Morton
   * George Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton
   * George Douglas-Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney
   * George Douglas-Pennant, 2nd Baron Penrhyn
   * Gustaf Douglas
   * Gustaf Otto Douglas


   * Hamilton Douglas Halyburton
   * Hugh the Dull, Lord of Douglas


   * Iain Douglas-Hamilton


   * Lord James Douglas
   * James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton
   * James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas
   * James Douglas, 2nd Marquess of Douglas
   * James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Angus
   * James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton
   * James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton
   * James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas
   * James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas
   * James Douglas, Earl of Angus
   * James Douglas, Lord of Douglas
   * James Douglas-Hamilton, 5th Duke of Hamilton

J cont.

   * James Douglas-Hamilton, Baron Selkirk of Douglas
   * James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton
   * James Douglas-Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton
   * James Douglas-Hamilton, 7th Duke of Hamilton
   * John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton
   * John Douglas, 7th Marquess of Queensberry
   * John Douglas, Lord of Balvenie


   * Ludvig Douglas


   * Malcolm Douglas-Pennant, 6th Baron Penrhyn
   * Margaret Douglas
   * Margaret Douglas, Fair Maid of Galloway
   * Princess Marie of Baden (1817–1888)
   * Mary Victoria Douglas-Hamilton


   * Princess Elisabeth, Duchess in Bavaria


   * Robert Douglas, Count of Skenninge
   * Rosita Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough


   * Sholto Douglas
   * Sholto Douglas, 15th Earl of Morton


   * Anne Villiers, Countess of Morton


   * Archduchess Walburga of Austria
   * William Douglas of Cluny
   * William Douglas of Glenbervie
   * William Douglas of Nithsdale
   * William Douglas the Hardy
   * William Douglas, 1st Baron Drumlanrig
   * William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas
   * William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas
   * William Douglas, 2nd Earl of Angus
   * William Douglas, 4th Duke of Queensberry
   * William Douglas, 6th Earl of Douglas
   * William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas
   * William Douglas, 10th Earl of Angus
   * William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry
   * William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton
   * William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton
   * William Douglas-Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton
   * William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale
   * William Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton
   * William Douglas-Hamilton, 12th Duke of Hamilton
   * William Hamilton (diplomat)
   * William I, Lord of Douglas
   * William IV, Lord of Douglas
   * William Longleg, Lord of Douglas
   * Lord William Douglas

==The Geni Master Profile==

(See the project - Geni Master Profile best practices).

Place Names and Particles

A lot of names that later developed into surnames, and title-names, are based on places, telling us something about where a person was from or where he lived or ruled. Such names are common especially for nobility and landed gentry in many countries. These typically contain something similar to a preposition or "particle". A particle before a name is always written in lowercase letters, only the place/name is capitalized.

Thus (correct language-rule also applying):

   * de Bourgogne (not “Of Burgundy”),
   * de Normandie (not “Of Normandy”)
   * of England (not “Av England”)
   * d'Evreux (not “de Evreux” or “De evreux”)
   * d'Ivry (not "de Ivry" or "De Ivry"
   * von Sachsen (not “of Saxony”)
   * van Vloandern and de Flandre (not “of Flanders”)
   * av Valvatne
   * av Sverige (not "Of Sweden") 

These names should also be treated as units and not split in Middle and Last Name fields. "Of" or "De" is never a Middle Name.

At some point in history these place names including particles often changed to regular surnames being perceived as ONE name, and spelling would often change to Devereaux, Delacroix, DeVere etc. The spellings of these and use of capitalization may vary a lot. Exactly how will be known by the families who use the names, but it does not apply to Medieval names. For more information, read the Wikipedia article.


Scottish Kings Naming Conventions:

   * Name as close to original name as possible, language, geography and time period to be taken into consideration
         o Gaelic names for Scottish/Gaelic speaking people as far as possible
         o Patronymics in the Middle Name field
         o Titles usually go in the Suffix field
         o Adjust First Name field to avoid misunderstandings or mistaken identity where necessary, by adding order/number or byname.
         o Maiden names are normally avoided as there were none at the time
         o All names a person is known by in any source listed in Nicknames: bynames (especially in English), additional titles, variations. 

*when in doubt, follow Wikipedia

For example

FN William MN (blank) LN Douglas MN (blank) Suffix 1st Baron Drumlanrig Display name default to William Douglas, 1st Baron Drumlanrig


The United States did not exist until 1789 and the United Kingdom was formed in 1707. Please be careful about using autocomplete. It is better to use the "place" field and type out the place name. Use place names such as Scotland and South Carolina and spell out the country name with historical accuracy.

For example

Ayrshire, Scotland

Overview tab

It makes it easier to read a profile if the "about me" information is filled out in this fashion:

Media tab

- Future releases of the Geni Project module will create a dynamic library of downloadable media for profiles associated with the Project.

-- The media tab of the MP should be used for documentation files. Websites, biographies, census reports, image files -- the richer we make the profile, the more historically and genealogically accurate and meaningful it will be.

Sources tab

-- Adding a source validates the MP, and creates a "timeline" for each life represented by a profile. The more information we add, the more detailed and accurate.

-- Original source data includes: birth certificates, census reports, immigration records, ship rosters, obituaries, marriage licenses ....

Works Cited

- Citation data (MLA format is good) should be noted for each source. If someone else can't replicate research, it's not acceptable.

- Instant citation makers on line:


Folk Music of the Borders, Scottish and Appalachian

Mark Knopfler - Border Reiver

June Tabor - (Child Ballad 195)

John, 8th Lord Maxwell, did historically kill Sir James Johnstone as the culmination of a family feud and was forced to leave Scotland to escape the death penalty. However, he came back in secret five years later. He was apprehended and beheaded.

Lucy Stewart - (Child Ballad 233)

This ballad supposedly tells a true story with Annie being buried at a churchyard in Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

James Hogg (1770–1835)

The dour, grim fighting which took place almost constantly in the Scottish Borders for centuries is recalled in this song by the Borders poet James Hogg (also known as the "Ettrick Shepherd"). Many of the surnames which appear in this song were well known in the Borders.

Jock Elliot raised up his steel bonnet and lookit, His hand grasped the sword with a nervous embrace;

   ‘Ah, welcome, brave foemen,
   On earth there are no men More gallant to meet in the foray or chase!

‘Little know you of the hearts I have hidden here; Little know you of our moss-troopers’ might—

   Lindhope and Sorbie true,
   Sundhope and Milburn too, Gentle in manner, but lions in fight!


Set in some of the wildest and most spectacular scenery in the British Isles, the story of the Reivers who, from the 14th to the 17th century, rode by moonlight , raiding and shifting livestock, in a time where plunder, kidnap, blackmail and murder were a way of life.

'Lochinvar' by Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott's Abbotsford House

Suggested Reading

Please insert in alphabetical order by last name of author, and provide URL link if available online

Bronson, Bertrand H, and Francis J. Child. The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads: With Their Texts, According to the Extant Records of Great Britain and America. East Windsor, NJ: CAMSCO Music, 2009. Print.

Campbell, Liza. Title Deeds: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007. Print.

Fischer, David H. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Print.

Fraser, Elisabeth. An Illustrated History of Scotland. Whitefriars, Norwich: Jarrold Pub, 1997. Print.

Fraser, George M. D. The Steel Bonnets. New York: Knopf, 1972. Print.

Fraser, William S. The Douglas Book. , 1884. Internet resource.

Hewitson, Jim. The Douglases. Glasgow: Lang Syne, 1997. Print.

Lynch, Michael. The Oxford Companion to Scottish History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Print.

Maxwell, Herbert. A History of Dumfries and Galloway. The county histories of Scotland. Edinburgh: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1896. Print.

Sinclair, S A. "Brown, Michael, the Black Douglases: War and Lordship in Late Medieval Scotland, 1300-1455." Speculum Massachusetts. 76 (2001): 140-141. Print.