BREAKING NEWS: Colonel Mustard Was A MacGregor?

Yes. It is quite possible that Colonel Mustard, Clue’s mysterious Brit with a cloudy military history, may have descended from Scotland’s most famous outlaw tribe, Clan Gregor. Had we known that fact we likely would have been far more skeptical when the Colonel turned up unexpectedly in the library with the knife and no explanation. The news that Mustard may be MacGregor comes to us from a recent DNA project focused on reuniting people of Clan Gregor ancestry with their true name and heritage.

As most know, the name MacGregor and variations was outlawed by royal decree in the 17th century due, according to the King, to the clan’s relentless thieving and trouble making. Most of those bearing the disreputable surname chose to change it rather than suffer the r0yal consequences. Clan Gregor Society has commissioned a major DNA study to identify genetic MacGregors who currently use any one of a handful of likely non Gregor surnames – Mustard being one. Now, if your DNA shows at least 31 of the 37 Gregor DNA markers, you will be welcomed to the tribe even if your current surname is Campbell.

Not every Scottish clan or family owns such a dramatic history of imposed disassociation but clearly, as seen in the case of Clan Gregor, the power of today’s DNA research to deepen and focus understanding of our past is tremendous. Indeed, COSCA recently reported on the history shattering lack of Irish DNA markers in the whole of Clan MacNeal. This surprising discovery came to light through recent Clan supported DNA study. So we now know to look northward to the Viking Norsemen who peppered Eilean na Siar throughout the 9th – 11th centuries to understand the true heritage of our MacNeal kinsmen. Dalriadan they are not.

So who will be involved in the next great discovery? MacDougalls? MacDonalds? Picts? Dalriadan Scots? Romans? The pairing of DNA research and archaeological discovery shows a human story confirming newly discovered physical evidence left on the earth. It will not be long however, before traditional interpretations of archaeological evidence may themselves be rocked by contrary DNA findings. We are at an exciting frontier in rediscovering and reconfirming our Scottish past and COSCA is committed to staying connected so that we can keep our members and friends informed and energized.

Our partnership with Family Tree DNA, the world’s leading genetic genealogist and largest DNA data base, could not come at a more appropriate and fruitful time. Make sure you stop by COSCA’s Seannachaidh Tent at the Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games on April 17 – 19 to meet Honored Caucus Underwriter Family Tree DNA and a genealogical, heraldic and genetic team of experts, to discuss modern DNA science and how it can help you understand your own family better.

Mae Davidson Cultural Center, April 17, 2015, Historic Rural Hill, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

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