HOLD FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 1 JUNE 2015
JAMES MONROE – SCOTLAND’S FIRST PRESIDENT
DNA research has shown that the American forefathers of the 5th President of the USA, James Monroe (1758-1831), were descendants of Robert Munro of Foulis, 16th century chief of the Scottish Clan.
The new findings are reported in the newsletter of Clan Munro USA. Mark Monroe of Texas, who tracked down a relative of President Monroe for DNA testing, explained: “President Monroe’s line has been claimed to descend from an Andrew Monroe, from a branch of the family who farmed at Katewell in Ross-shire, Scotland. He is said to have been banished to Virginia in 1648, but his identity has been disputed.
“We have now proved that a descendant of President Monroe’s great grandfather carries the uncommon Y-chromosome DNA signature characteristic of the Munro chiefs, confirming he is related in the male line.”
Margaret Bardin of Clan Munro USA, who administers the Munro DNA Project, added: “DNA studies show that despite having surnames in common, in reality every Scottish clan includes multiple paternal lines. My Munro forefathers, who farmed near Inverary, Argyllshire, belong to a different line.
“However, we believe that many living Munros, in Britain and around the world, will carry signature DNA showing they are related to President Monroe, and we hope to prove this by studying more of them.”
Hector Munro of Foulis, the present chief, commented: “The clan is proud of the achievements of many distinguished men and women who bear the name, however they might choose to spell it, but it is pleasing to know that one of the founding fathers of the United States was descended from our ancient Ross-shire family.”
Contacts for more information:
Margaret Bardin (USA)
Colin Munro (Scotland)
NOTES FOR EDITOR
DNA project, www.familytreedna.com/groups/munro-dna/about