Our Scottish Royal Connection


Written by: Anne Sturm

The royal connection:

Since my maternal great-grandfather Charles Griner’s paternal 5th great-grandmother, Priscilla Burnett was born into the Burnett of Leys family of Scottish nobility, she was one of the daughters of Thomas Burnett Jr.  and Mary Cooper.

Priscilla, was the first generation of the Burnett Family of Southampton, Long Island, New York to be born in the New World a.k.a The America. Priscilla was one of eleven children born to Thomas Burnett, Jr and his wife, Mary Cooper.

Priscilla’s grandfather was Dr. Thomas Burnett Sr.,who received his M.A. degree from Cambridge University  and later soon became a physician of eminence practicing in Braintree, Essex, England, his wife was Jane Foys, a daughter of John Foys of London. Jane and her husband Thomas had three children: Thomas Burnett Jr. b. 1612, Alexander Burnett b. 1613 and Frances Burnett, b. 1614., who married the Rev. Thomas Templer, Rector of Weston, Northampton. Dr. Thomas Alexander Burnett, Sr.’s parents were Alexander Burnett, 11th Laird of Leys and Katherine Arbuthnot, their family seat was at Crathes Castle.  Priscilla Burnett’s 2nd great-granddaughter was Eleanor Garrison, who married John Griner Sr. in 1807.     

All of Thomas and Jane’s children was all born in Braintree, Essex, England.

* The English Royal Connection is from Edward III of England, the great-grandfather of Lady Joan Beaufort, the wife James I of Scotland (Family Records)​

  • In order to understand the family connection here, please read Samuel Fithian Sr. will and inventory records first, then read the will of Henry Joyce to understand how the Fithian’s siblings connects with Robert Tullis. Robert Tullis was the father of my 6x great-grandfather, William Tullis Sr. and grandfather of Anna Tullis (1765-1858) and a great-grandfather of Eleanor Garrison, who married John Griner Sr. in Cumberland County, NJ in 1807. And also the 2nd great-grandfather of Eli Griner Sr. (c. 1816 – to about 1865), Eli Griner Sr. is my 3rd great-grandfather whom I descended from by one of his sons, Louis Eli Griner who was the father of my maternal great-grandfather, Charles Berdeaux Griner (1889-1964).

Priscilla Burnett and Samuel Fithian Sr. had a total of 7 children: 6 boys and one girl they are: John Fithian (b.1681), Josiah Fithian (b.1685), Samuel Fithian Jr. (b.1688), Esther Fithian (b.1691), Matthias Fithian (b.1694), William Fithian (b.1698) and lastly, Isaac Fithian (b. sometimes before 1702).

Samuel Fithian Sr’s will and inventory (click here) * some translation, (Easter aka Esther, the only daughter of Samuel Fithian was given 20 pounds after her father’s deceased.)

Henry Joyce’s will that makes that shows the family connection of the Fithian family to Robert Tullis of Salem County, NJ

To see the actual copy of the Henry Joyce’s will in pdf (click here)​

Charles Griner’s paternal 5th great-grandmother Priscilla Burnett, who married Samuel Fithian Sr. on March 6th 1679 at Greenwich Presbyterian Church in New Jersey, shows and  according to some records, Priscilla is in turn a great-granddaughter of Alexander Burnett, 11th Laird of Leys and Katherine Arbuthnot, through their 3rd son Dr. Thomas Burnett Sr.

Dr. Thomas Burnett Sr.’s brother Alexander Burnett, later became the 12th Laird of Leys.​

Charles Griner’s 5th great-grandmother, Priscilla Burnett’s genealogy published in “Holly and The Horn: Burnett of Leys Family and Branches” as a great-grandchild of a laird (Officially published by the Burnett of Leys Family)

(Priscilla ’s great-grandparents Alexander Burnett and Katherine Arbuthnot’s ancestry  is recorded in Burke’s Peerage & Baronetage of Great Britain the official genealogy book of the British Monarch.)

The House of Burnett is the direct descendants of both Edward III of England and James II of Scotland respectively.

Isabel Burnett’s, brother John Burnett,10th Laird of Leys is also my direct ancestor. Isabel Burnett, who married Robert Arbuthnot, 1st of Fiddes is also an aunt of Alexander Burnett,11th Laird of Leys and a mother of Katherine Arbuthnot. (Making my ancestors first cousins.)

Isabel Burnett and John Burnett, 10th Laird of Leys’ parents were Alexander Burnett, 9th Laird of Leys and Lady Janet Hamilton. 

Lady Janet Hamilton married Alexander Burnett, 9th Laird of Leys in 1521, and they had 11 children together. (They are my 13th great grandparents, and 10th great grandparents of my great-grandfather Charles Berdeaux Griner)

Before their marriage in 1521, Janet has her own Coat of Arms, and her husband Alexander also has his own Coat of Arms, after their wedding their two Coat of Arms were impaled into one Coat of Arms (side by side) to identify the union and validity of their marriage.

This shows that Janet Hamilton’s Coat of Arms, represents to which family she belongs to and that family she belong to is the House of Hamilton, a noble house in Scotland which includes families of The Dukes of Hamilton, The Earls of Lennoxes, The Dukes of Douglas and The Earls of Arran. Lady Janet Hamilton is a natural daughter of Robert Hamilton, Seigneur d’Aubigny and his wife Elizabeth Campbell.

The Portrait of James Hamilton, Duke of Chatellerault and 2nd Earl of Arran
c. 1575

Robert Hamilton’s oldest brother is James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran and 2nd Lord Hamilton, James’s eldest son, James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault and 2nd Earl of Arran was Heir Presumptive to the Scottish throne while Mary Stuart was Queen of Scots until the birth of her son James who became James VI of Scots and later James I of England on the death of their cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.

James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran is the oldest son of James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton and Princess Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran, Princess Mary, is in turn the daughter of James II, King of Scotland and Mary of Guelders, Queen consort of Scotland.

James II, King of Scotland
, is also the son of James I, King of Scotland and Lady Joan Beaufort, Queen consort of ScotlandJames II of Scotland is also a great-grandson of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and his 3rd wife Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster.

The Family of Princess Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran