The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

The revival of interest in Scottish ancestry over the last 50 years has encouraged many clans and families, who had not previously done so, to look for a leader. For many clans this has involved searching for the person most directly descended from the last known chief of the clan.

A large number of clans who had had chiefs in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries went into decline after 1745. In many cases it has been possible for genealogical research to establish the identity of the last chiefs descendants and thus to find the person with the closest blood link back to the last chief. In other cases this research is either still being conducted or is now being embarked upon.

The last head, or chief, of the Douglas family, or Clan Douglas, was Archibald Douglas, 1st Duke of Douglas (1694–1761) (created Duke of Douglas in 1703). The dukedom became extinct on his death; the earldom and marquessate were inherited by James George Hamilton, 7th Duke of Hamilton.

His Grace Alexander Douglas-Hamilton, the 16th Duke of Hamilton and 13th Duke of Brandon is heir to the chiefdom of the house of Douglas, but he cannot assume the title of chief since the Lord Lyon King of Arms requires him to assume the single name Douglas. The Duke of Hamilton is the Chief of Clan Hamilton. If he, or a son, were to adopt the single name 'Douglas' for his surname, the clan could become again non-Armegirous registered with The Lord Lyon King of Arms.

Should clan members put pressure on the Duke of Hamilton to seek a resolution to the lack of a head of clan? Should the Earl of Morton be appointed?

If you have a view, please let us know what you think.

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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