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>An Open Letter to Allison Merrill on Robert de Bruce

>Dear Allison:

Thank you for your comment. For more information on your husband’s grandfather I would suggest the best source I have read, Ronald McNair Scott’s biography of King Robert, Robert The Bruce, King of Scots, published by Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., New York, 1992.

I have a paperback version, but I believe hardback copies are available.
If not, try, there could be some used ones for a third of the price. McNair lists several primary and secondary sources of information including standard Scottish history books like Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland by Cal. Doc. Scots, and Dickinson’s and Milne’s A Source Book of Scotish History. You probably should stay with the biographies, however, unless you’re planning a trip to the isles or are near a major university library. If you live in Salt Lake City you might try the Family History Library. If you dig out new info, I would welcome an article written by you which I could place in this blog under your byline. send it to me at

Please write and tell us more about your family. We are LDS people living in Windermere, Florida now (formerly of Minnesota and Salt Lake City) perhaps not of the same line once we leave Robert. I’d like to know where you live and a little more about your husband. When I was in Finland on my mission in 1958-’61 we had an Elder Merrill.

A long time ago, when I realized King Robert was my 20th grandfather I was absolutely wowed. Imagine, the King of Scotland — not just any king but the king who brought Scotland their independence at Bannockburn in 1314 — revered in Scotland and in my home as the “George Washington” of Scotland. Could it be that I have some of the same genes that led to his greatness? What a vain thing to wonder, but when I was young I did wonder. But then I did some math. I have some 6,000 grandfathers, not related to Robert de Bruce. Whatever similarities between me and King Robert are few at best. What a blow to my young ego. Then I learned we were also related directly to Alexander the Great of Mascedonia. As you recall Mascedonia is a landlocked country on the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south and Albania to the west.

You could refer to your own genealogy and find that you’re similarly related to great queens and kings. But the one King that really matters is our older brother, the Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ. He is the only King that I would like to have a close kinship with.

We did some work on Carolyn’s genealogy (my wife) and she’s a Christensen with lines to Denmark, of course. When I was in Finland I wondered what it would be like to return to Finland after my mission and find a Finnish girl to marry. I never did. But I had this in the back of my mind when I met Carolyn, a University of Utah graduate and a registered nurse at the LDS Hospital. She and I are great Ute supporters. I played baseball there. We both graduated from the U. of U. and so did our four children. To make a rambling story short, it wasn’t until we did Carolyn’s history that we found she was directly related to two Finnish Kings. So, in essence, I did marry a Finnish lassie afterall. Strange how everything works out in the end.

Read along with me.

Bannockburn Battle Sequence of Events

Siege of Stirling and the pact with Mowbray

In the year 1314, after 18 years of war, Scotland north of the Forth was free. Stirling, one of the few castles still held by the English lay under Scottish siege. Edward Bruce, the King’s brother, lacking in siege equipment, had remained their for many months in the hope of starving the English out. Sometime in the spring though, Edward, in the chivalry of the time, made a pact with the castle’s governor, one Sir Philip Mowbray. It was agreed that if an English relieving force had not arrived by midsummer’s eve, the castle would be surrendered to the Scots. Robert, on hearing of this was furious with his brother. So far he had relied entirely on guerrilla tactics to oust the English, and undoubtedly Edward II would send a force north, which would mean a pitched battle if Stirling was to be saved.Click onto this for the remainder of this great story.

More on King Bruce: I have yet to read books by our cousins, one by Charles Randolph Bruce and Carol Bruce called Rebel King: … I don’t spend enough time doing family history or going to the temple, though before my legs started giving me trouble I was an ordinance worker in the Orlando Temple. My son Michael and I attended the temple on Wednesday and do so regularly. Since returning from my mission almost 50 years ago I have been active in the church and have held a temple recommend. Non-members may not know what that means, but I would be happy to answer any questions about that if they would leave a comment.

I spend a lot of time online writing. I have 22 blogs, and the center of it is I recently wrote tributes to my wife and daughter, Jennifer — or were they Valentine Cards? Here are the links:

Allison, when you search for “ books on King Robert de Bruce” the first two of three references in the search engines are articles written by me on my grandfather. Maybe you’ve already been there. That doesn’t make me the expert, only a prolific writer.

“There Are Many Bruces With Similar Heritage” is an article right here on Family History. Please click onto it and read about Robert de Bruce.

Please click onto this here to read those articles.

Good luck to you, Allison. Hope to hear from you again soon.

Don White

>Robert De Bruce

>I blogged on today about my 20th grandfather, Robert The Bruce, King of Scotland. Actually, I was commenting about Scott’s book: Robert The Bruce: King of Scots which is a fine history of my grandfather.

Here’s my blog which is about a review made on the book earlier:

Your initial post: Jul 28, 2008 2:35 PM PDT
Don White says:
Dennis Phillips did a good job with his review. Being a 20th grandson of Robert Bruce, I am anxious and eager to read everything printed about my grandfather. Though some is not reliable, I believe Ronald McNair Scott’s book is. I enjoyed it greatly. He is a fine writer and has the ability that few in that genre have–of tying then to now while keeping the interest high and the reader on edge. I congratulate him greatly for what I consider a blockbuster tomb of the century on one of history’s truly great men, certainly the finest warrior-politician and leader Scotland has ever produced. I’m sure I will get to see him in the Spirit World after this life and will sit at his feet with much to ask him. I hope you share the same faith I do that there, indeed, is a Spirit World, and life everlasting. Long live the epoch story of Robert D. Bruce. Thank you, Dennis, for your positive review. Someday I, too, would like to write on King Robert. Bravo to the author for a boffo book! Donald White