Tree diagram showing R1b Y-DNA relationships at 67 markers for descendants of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland – May 2011. Draft 2.

Contributed by Belinda Dettmann

The dots on the graph represent DNA haplotypes from men with the Stewart surname or Stewart affiliations, who have been tested as R1b and show the Ancient Stewart DNA signature of GATAH4=10, DYS406S1=11, DYS565=11. Such testers are believed to be direct-line male descendants of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland.

Large dots represent more than one test. The Large yellow blob in the top left of the diagram represents the Modal value for all Stewart men with the R1b haplogroup, and it represents the probable ancestral value for all men in R1b, the largest single haplogroup in Europe. The first R1b man lived about 4000-5000 years ago and the original Ancient Stewart descendant had probably accumulated 6 mutations on his Y chromosome since that time.

The diagram shows the possible relationships between the various lines within the Ancient Stewart Group, and it suggests that different key mutations from the core group of ALEXHS may represent different descendant lines. 

NB: Each mutation on its own may not be diagnostic, as similar mutations, or back-mutations may occur in other lines at any time. The subgroups are summarised below as a ROUGH GUIDE to possible lines of descent, and all require a test at 67 markers.

Please note that the Ancient Stewart Group in its entirety has been referred to as the “Red Group” in the past, and the large Stewart Project group labelled “R1b Group Type2: Ancient Stewarts, descended from High Stewards of Scotland” carries a red label. The first of the subgroups below is a subset of this larger “Red Group”.

The subgroups are:

Red Group.  ALEXHS.  #110059, 179069, 181994, 1833454, plus tests with one or two mutations, no other relatives.

The large red dot labelled ALEXHS consists of a group of identical haplotype results (110059, 179069, 181994, 183344), which are believed to be unchanged from the Y-DNA signature of Alexander Stewart (1210-1283), 4th High Steward of Scotland. The other red dots represent three further individuals (168412, 129498, 52758) who appear to descend from ALEXHS, differing by only one or two mutations, but with no other relatives known to date.

Alexander, 4th High Steward was the ancestor of the Royal Stewart kings of Scotland, via King Robert II.  He was also the ancestor of the Royal House of Stuart in the United Kingdom, via King James I and VI, and of many other lines of Stewart or Stuart nobles in Scotland, England, Ireland and France. Some of these descendant lines are represented among the groups below.

Green Group.  #8101 and relatives.  DYS458=16.

The largest subgroup, it probably represents several different lines, all emanating from a common ancestor (identity unknown) who was a descendant of Alexander, 4th High Steward.

Royal Blue Group.  #57979 and relatives.


This line includes descendants from the ancestral line which gave rise to the English Royal Stuarts, via their ancestral Scottish line back through the Darnley and Lennox Stuarts.  All men of this ancestry descend from Sir John Stewart of Bonkyle or Bonkill, second son of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland, though the DNA split must have occurred lower down the line than Sir John himself.   A small subgroup of the Ancient Stewarts, it contains the English descendants of Henry Darnley, heir to the Earl of Lennox, who married Mary Queen of Scots and whose son James I and VI inherited the English crown after the death of Queen Elizabeth I. It also includes descendants of an earlier line that has split off from Sir John of Bonkyle, somewhere between him and Henry Darnley.

# 57979 is believed to be the descendant of a man of this line who lived before King Charles II of England was born. Testers labelled ROY1, ROY3, and ROY5 are known to be descendants of King Charles II.

Pale Red Group.  #148823 and relatives.


Lilac Group.  #16895 and relatives.


Orange Group.  #148478 and relatives.


Grey-blue Group.  #40333, 150786 and relatives.


It’s possible that this group is a precursor group to descendants from ALEXHS, as they appear to have split off the line from the R1b modal before ALEXHS did, with DYS520=2, like the R1b modal, instead of DYS 520-21, like most of the Ancient Stewarts.

Teal Blue Group.  #164047 and relatives.

CDYb=38. This line includes the Stewarts of Ardsheal, descendants of the Stewarts of Appin, and ultimately descended from Sir John of Bonkyle via his son Sir James Stewart of Peirston, Athole, Buchan and Traquair.

Dark Brown Group.  #116794 and relatives.


Dark Blue Group.  #53238 and relatives.


Grey Group.   #187778 and relatives.


Violet Group.  #132507 and relatives.


Pale Yellow. #52840 and relatives.

Dark Green. #5603 and relatives.