The Douglas Archives

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Mystery about William Domini Douglas

A series of posts on the Rootsweb Forum make interesting reading, and demonstrates the value of DNA testing. They started with is:

I may have missed previous discussions about William Domini Douglas? If anyone can help clear up the questions about his parentage, birth, etc., I would greatly appreciate it! I have traced him back through my great,great grandfather, WHH Douglass of Janesville, WI, son of Warner Douglass.

'Berylvt' responded with this background information:

Domini was NOT the biological son of the Earl of Morton although he was accepted as such by the Earl. Domini was put onto a ship bound for the US at the age of 6 years ( from memory - it may have been 5 or 7).. this was done by his older brothers after the death of the Earl. ( Perhaps they knew Domini was not their father's son ). Domini was alone on this trip and unaccompanied. He fathered 5 sons and many descendants in the USA.

As I understand it the Earl was sleeping with an Irish woman and she became pregnant. The Earl believed the child was his and took him ( Domini) in to be raised with his legitimate children. Evidently, according to the DNA evidence the Irish mistress also had an Irish male lover who had fathered the child. The other sons of the Earl disposed of Domini as soon as the Earl died. We can speculate why they did that - did they know of the mistresses other lover or did they simply want another potential contender for the wealth removed?

The DNA evidence does show that Domini was descended from Nial of Nine hostages - an Irish warlord who with his sons sired a large proportion of the Irish.

On this basis, William Domini was not a Douglas at all, but became one, and as such was the first of his line.


William Domini Douglas was born at or near Belfast in Ireland, 2 May 1732.  His mother was a Bartlett. George Douglas, 13th Earl of Morton died in 1738.





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Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on June 20, 2011 at 23:34
I found this an interesting little factoid on  O'Neil dna testing

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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