While aggregating some genealogy data for my family, I recently came across something that has my daughters and I pretty excited. It would seem that, on my wife's side, there is a traceable lineage to a member of the Royal Family of Denmark. (In the early 16th century, not the current family.) I found this in two separate sources, so even if they're fairly questionable it's still worth a deeper look.

Naturally, the first place I went was Wikipedia. However, her name isn't on that chart. I wonder, however, if her name would be just outside that chart. She's referred to as a "princess" but that could mean anything, really. But we all know how wide an actual family tree can be, so it's entirely possible that her name is somewhere adjacent to that direct lineage.

Are there any resources I might be able to check for something like this? I haven't done a lot of direct research myself, so at the moment I'm just Googling around for sources. The current royal family has their own website, of course. And there are other websites dedicated to the same family. But so far I haven't found anything better than that Wikipedia page.

Note also that her birth would have been pretty close to the space between the first two trees on the Wikipedia page, somewhere around Frederick I or Christian III. So if there was some sort of changing of the houses around that time then a lot of people may have called themselves a "princess."

The actual person in question is listed in The Island Register as "Princess Biurnag (Bernice) of Denmark" (DOB unknown) who was married to Aongha Mhartain of Skye, Scotland (born 1558). They had a son in Skye, Scotland named Taos Gille Mhartain. (I've sent an email to the address named in the linked source.)

Might there be more expanded lineages that I can dig up somewhere?

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    Hello :) Welcome to GFH SE! You seem to be talking about the 15th century. Can you provide more concrete details such as a specific year, where your relative is supposed to have lived (area, county, township?), who their descendants are, etc? This will help you to get better quality answers. Jan 21, 2013 at 2:12
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    The actual name and dates of the person would also be helpful. There might then be a chance of suggesting certain specialized academic databases. Jan 21, 2013 at 2:18
  • A little more searching also just brought me here: community.ancestry.com.au/… That link to "Lines of Lineage: Denmark and Sweden" might help.
    – David
    Jan 21, 2013 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


While it may seem fascinating to chase the history (or the mythology) of Princess Beatrice on the Isle of Skye, it really has little to do with your family history.

I would be very surprised if you have solidly documented evidence of every generation back to 1558 and until you do, you have no sound basis for believing that Beatrice or Biurnag or any other MacDonald of the day was your ancestor.

Be very aware that tiny change anywhere in your tree can mean that all those people you research back beyond it become someone else's ancestors. Always proceed from what you know; not what you hope may be true.

  • I understand, and in my data I have a lot of these sources listed as "questionable" or "unreliable". I hope this doesn't sound like, "Someone said I'm related to a princess! I'm royalty!" or any such nonsense. It's mostly an idle curiosity, just a fairly exciting one. Records that far back are very unreliable, but if there are some details on the royal/noble lineages then it would be cool to include it in my data as ancillary information. If nothing else, it makes a cool point of conversation.
    – David
    Jan 22, 2013 at 21:42
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    @David: Royalty!? If you are related to the royal lineage of Denmark, then you are descended from the god Odin! Royalty schmoyalty. ;-) Sep 6, 2013 at 18:29
  • @LennartRegebro: If I could trace that, it would go into the genealogy data. (Likely as an "unreliable" source, but in the data nonetheless.) I guess ultimately I'm really just looking for sources and strategies for researching royal family records from centuries ago (before the current "house" was in power), specifically for Denmark. Never did find anything though. I did find Scottish ancestors who associated with the English royals, though. Pipers to the queen, things like that.
    – David
    Sep 6, 2013 at 18:32

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