The week 2 theme for 52 Ancestors is “King”. Gosh … my mind goes directly to royalty! Imagine that!
It’s wild to imagine that a family that landed in America before it even was, then migrated from the Carolinas through Tennessee and up to Illinois would be descendant from any King, let alone Robert the Bruce, but mine is. Full disclosure … I can’t prove it beyond a doubt. I can only take the word of researchers before me and trust the DNA test that linked my Grandpa to relatives who can prove it! I’m claiming my ancestral throne, regardless.
Anyone who ever watched Braveheart doesn’t need too much of a lesson on Robert the Bruce, but his road to the crown wasn’t without major difficulty and much heartache. While some of this is portrayed in the movie, it ends somewhat abruptly with the death of William Wallace. This wasn’t, however, the end for Robert. On March 27, 1306, five months after Wallace’s death, Robert was named King of Scotland.
It lasted a year. Almost.
Then English King Edward II picked a fight and Robert fled. Robert’s wife and daughters were imprisoned. His brothers were killed.
In the summer of 1314, Robert defeated Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn, establishing an independent Scottish monarchy. Fast forward to 1324 … Pope John XXII recognized Robert as the rightful King of Scotland. Robert reigned until is death on June 7, 1329. His dying wish was for his heart to taken to the Holy Land for burial. Sir James Douglas set out to do so, but was killed in Spain. The King’s heart returned to Scotland and was buried.
My connection to Robert the Bruce is through his eldest daughter, Marjorie. She married Walter Stewart in 1315 thus giving birth to the House of Stewart (Stuart). She has her own interesting story. Suffice it to say, their son later became King Robert II.
Elizabeth Catherine Stewart, daughter of Robert II, married David Lindsay in 1374. The Lindsay family is well documented through their arrival to America and can be connected to my own Lindsay clan.
I have trouble wrapping my head around a 20th great grandfather … certainly one who was the Great Warrior King of Scotland … but it might explain my long-time fascination with all things House of Stuart!