Q: When did you started doing genealogy research on your own family tree?

A: I started when I was a teenager, I loved watching my mother doing her genealogy research at home and I would often stop by to visit her at work and catch her digging in the records in the back room of her workplace looking for records of her Irish ancestors. I happened to just started asking question from time to time. But my interest didn’t really pick up until after my mother passing in 2000 and soon became more interested in genealogy after my senior class trip to the British Isles in April of 2001.

Q: How do I start my family research?

A: Start with yourself and go back, one generation at a time, ask your relatives question about their family history. write down everything that they told you, gather scrapbooks and gather and or order family records. Start your family tree. Its like working on a jig jaw puzzle its a big project depending on your family line, it can takes months or years to complete, but to tell you the truth.. it WILL never be finished.

Q: Will you help me with my research?

A: Yes and No, depending on what the question you are asking and what kind of help you need. I am not a professional genealogist.. I just have a real knack at finding and solving things.

Q: I see a picture of Diana, Princess of Wales on your website logo.. Does that mean that she was related to you?

A: Yes, Diana, Princess of Wales is my 12th cousin 1x removed. Diana and I shared the same 11 great-grandparents though the House of Burnett (a noble house in Scotland) Our 11th great-grandparents were Alexander Burnett, 11th Laird of Leys and Katherine Arbuthnot, via her mother’s side of her family. I am also related to her father Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer.

Q: How are you related to the Burnett of Leys family?

A: My maternal great-grandfather Charles Griner’s paternal 5th great-grandmother Priscilla Burnett was a member of Burnett of Leys family of the House of Burnett, (a Scottish noble family), she was a great-granddaughter of Alexander Burnett, 11th Laird of Leys and Katherine Arbuthnot. Priscilla Burnett’s great-grandmother Katherine, was also related to the Dukes of Hamilton, and the Earls of Arran and is also mentioned in some family records that she was also related to every Kings and Queens in Europe and Asia.

Priscilla was also the 5th great-granddaughter of Princess Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran, the eldest daughter of James II of Scotland and Mary of Guelders and also was a direct descendant of Edward III of England.

Q: Is the Burnett of Leys family a clan or highlanders?

A: No. The Burnett of Leys family were never a clan or family of highlanders The Burnetts were never a ‘clan’ as the term is used in Scots custom and law. The clans in Scotland were patriarchal in scope and were essentially tribal societies whose members spoke Gaelic. The majority of Burnetts were not Gaelic speakers – most of them spoke Scots and, although many of them lived in or near the Scottish Highlands, they were not highlanders. The correct terminology for the Burnett family is ‘House of Burnett’ as is the case with a number of great Scottish families (Bruce, Gordon and Dunbar for example). Although the term ‘clan’ has been used to describe some Lowland families, even in the Lyon Court records, there was never a ‘Clan Burnett’.”

Q: Is the House of Burnett a royal house?

(Closed up portrait of James C.A. Burnett of Leys and Fiona on their wedding day pictured with their cousins Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and the Queen’s Mother)

A: No. The House of Burnett is a noble house in Scotland. The Burnett of Leys family were never a royal family, ever though they have royal ancestors, they were never in line to the succession to any thrones or to the throne of Scotland, but they are an acknowledged blood relatives to the current royal families. The Burnett of Leys family are recognized by The Court of the Lord Lyon of Scotland and to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The Burnett of Leys ancestry are officially recorded in Burke’s Peerage of Great Britain (the official genealogy book of HM Queen Elizabeth II).

Q: Are you a direct descendant of the House of Tudors?

A: I only wish, but no I do not have a Tudor ancestor.. not that I am aware of, however I am a cousin to the House of Tudors 🙂

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