Mr Graham Holton

Lead Tutor

Centre for Lifelong Learning

Personal statement

Graham has been involved in one way or another with genealogy and family history for most of his life. After long experience as a librarian, his involvement in the field of teaching family history began as a tutor of evening classes at the University of Strathclyde. He has been a tutor on the University’s Postgraduate Programme in Genealogical Studies since it commenced in 2007 and is now Principal Tutor. He is author of Discover your Scottish ancestry (2nd ed. 2009) and My ancestor emigrated to the British Empire (forthcoming). Member of (APG) Association of Professional Genealogists and Affiliate member of ASGRA (Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives).




The Declaration of Arbroath : new research on stories of the signatories
Holton Graham, Macdonald Alasdair F
2020 (2020)
DNA and the Declaration of Arbroath
Holton Graham, Macdonald Alasdair
Discovering unknown medieval descents : a genetic approach - medieval genealogy for the masses
Holton Graham S
12 (2020)
Was your ancestor a signatory of the Declaration of Arbroath?
Holton Graham S, Macdonald Alasdair F
Nov - Dec 2019 (2019)
Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA : A Guide for Family Historians
Holton Graham, Cleary John, Leonard Michelle, McDonald I, Macdonald Alasdair
Understanding your DNA results
Holton Graham, Macdonald Alasdair

More publications


Principal Tutor in the Genealogical Studies Postgraduate Programme.

Lead Tutor for the MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies.

Tutoring and development of teaching materials for the PG Certificate, PG Diploma and MSc.

Tutor for the Open Studies courses Genetic genealogy: an introduction and Understanding autosomal DNA testing for genealogy.

Contributor to the MOOC Genealogy: researching your family tree

Recently supervised MSc students

Coyle, Victoria. (2019) Cotton textile workers in Bolton, 1861-1865, in what way can Poor Law records further an understanding of the Cotton Famine? A genealogical and socio-economic study.

House, Laura. (2019) What are the limitations of Y and autosomal DNA when applied to the investigation of surname changes?

McDermott, Michelle. (2019) A genealogical study of Aston Martin: the Bamford & Martin years 1913-1925. Are business records a valuable resource for the genealogist?


Areas of PhD supervision

Supervision can be offered as follows:

  • Genetic genealogy
  • Medieval and early modern genealogy
  • Social mobility
  • Any other genealogical topics for the English speaking world would be considered


Research interests

The use of genetic genealogy, utilising documentary sources and DNA testing, to research medieval and early modern descents.


Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project
Holton, Graham (Principal Investigator) Macdonald, Alasdair F (Principal Investigator)
Research into the individuals associated with the Declaration of Arbroath and their families and genetic genealogy research to discover previously unknown descents from these individuals through DNA testing.
Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project
Macdonald, Alasdair F (Principal Investigator) Holton, Graham (Principal Investigator)
The Project commenced in 2013 with the initial aim of throwing light on the participants in the Battle from a genealogical point of view. The two strands of the Project consisted of firstly research into the lives of participants, their genealogies and their coats of arms, and secondly a genetic genealogy strand. The first strand involved student work and concluded in 2015. The genetic genealogy strand, carried out by staff members, has continued, and aims to discover previously unknown medieval descents for living individuals through DNA testing. The focus has been particularly on the Stewarts, with some work on the Macdonalds, Berkeleys and Greys.

More projects


Centre for Lifelong Learning
Graham Hills Building

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