Mr Alasdair Macdonald

Lead Tutor

Centre for Lifelong Learning

Personal statement

Alasdair is a Teaching Fellow and Lead Tutor in the department of Genealogical Studies within the Centre for Lifelong Learning. He has been involved in family history research for over 30 years and has a particular interest in the Scottish Highlands. He completed his MSc on Scottish baronies. He was previously employed for many years within the defense and aerospace industry. His research interests focus on the use of DNA in genealogical research. He is currently researching the origin and linkage of male lineages in the British Isles using Y-chromosomal DNA. He also specializes in Scottish land records and palaeography. Alasdair is one of the administrator of the Scottish DNA Project and the Flemish in Scotland DNA Project.


Alasdair is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


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
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


  • Genetic genealogy
  • Lineage research
  • Medieval and early modern genealogy
  • Scottish Clans and Families
  • Other genealogical topics for the English speaking world would be considered

Professional activities

Exploring your Scottish genealogy using Y-DNA

More professional activities


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