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Ancestors and DNA

Ancestor line contains both our male and female ancestors

Nisbet DNA ancestor line follows a direct male line of ancestors from son to father to father to father-----


This MEANS that an ancestor line COULD then descend from DNA1 through a female ancestor and still belong to another Nisbet DNA group such as DNA2 through surname male line

Nisbet Ancestors and DNA

From above
we can have ancestors that may have descended from Nisbet of that Ilk, Greenholm etc without being a DNA ancestor

The different DNA groups have been given a description that MAY NOT be correct and may be misleading especially Greenholm

The lack of documentation before 1600 and also after is the reason we will never really know the correct origin of these DNA groups or how they if related are related
People also took name of place they were from without being related to the owner when surnames started being used also anothre possible reason of different DNA groups

DNA1 that is considered to be from Nisbet of that Ilk
may not even be from the original DNA Nisbet of that Ilk
but would no doubt have ancestor line is from Nisbet of that Ilk

The fact that inhertance descends is the reason this is possible

From the original Nisbet of that Ilk the property would be automatically passed on to the eldest son
a change of DNA would be the result of one of these having only daughter and no sons

Example (scenario can be used for any of the groups or any generation of the groups)
Nisbet of of that Ilk had 3 sons

1st son DNAa (descendants with DNAa)  2nd son DNAa (direct male descendants DNAa)  3rd son DNAa (direct male descendants  DNAa)

the property would then pass to the 1st son DNAa and his children

IF 1st DNAa only had a daughter the property would then be passed on to her and then to her children
so the DNA would then change as the father would not have DNAa but DNAb

If this was early enough before actual surnames DNAb would still be designated as being Nisbet of that Ilk

and both the husband and children would then be designated as Nisbet of that Ilk
and a new DNAb group would then be started for Nisbet of that Ilk

We would then have two DNA groups for this Nisbet line new DNAb and from the 1st generation still DNAa

If it was after surnames (and not designations) were more common the above scenario would still quite possibly happen

Name changes sometimes occurred on inheriting or otherwise acquiring landed property.
Sometimes charters even specified that the proprietor must bear a certain name.
For similar reasons, husbands sometimes took their wives' names.
In any of such cases, the surname ceases to be a guide to DNA ancestry
This happened also in later times

Mary Hamilton of Pencaitland, etc (d 13.03.1797) m. (1747) William Nisbet of Dirleton (d 01.03.1783)
Their daughter was
Mary Christopher Nisbet Hamilton
of Dirleton, Belhaven, Pencaitland & Bloxholm (d 1855)
If they had had sons their surname would have been Hamilton but their DNA would be Nisbet


NISBET DNA Groups Please help with reference information to concrete records for corrections additions


Chart for Group 1

Nisbet of that Ilk
Thought to have included Dean Dirleton and Craigintinnie and other branches (not proven) MAY be related to older branch of Greenholm

John Nisbet married to Rachel Mason ancestor is not John Nisbet of Dirleton ~ 18 Jun 1696

John Nisbet of Dirleton died before 1698 (one of Burials of unnamed children of William in Greyfriars 25 May 1694, 21 Dec 1697 ; 28 Apr 1697; and 19 Jan 1698) This John, if he had survived childhood would have inherited after his father instead of his brother William as he would have been the oldest son His brother Walter bap. 1709 is also called 2nd son of William in 1722 which proves that both John bap 1696 and Alexander bap. 1700 his older brothers died before 1722 The oldest brother still alive then is William bap 1699 who was served heir to their father in 1725 Their father was WILLIAM Nisbet ~28 Aug 1666 of Craigintinnie who became Laird of Dirleton served heir to his father, Alexander Nisbet of Craigintinnie, 18th June 1696. Institute of entail under the deed executed by sir John Nisbet. He was born bef 1666, represented the county of Edinburgh in parliament. Died + Oct 1724, married 1st 29th Mar 1688, to Jean Bennett who was buried 15 Mar 1710 daughter of Sir William Bennett & Christian Morrison William was succeeded by his eldest son William. Therefore John Nisbet of Dirleton b 1696 is not the John Nisbet married to Rachel Mason

Records of lords of Session Case 133 7 March 1726 “In September 1722, when there was issue of the second marriage, one son David, and two daughters Janet and Jane, two of the respondents, William the father, in pursuance of the marriage contract, disponed certain lands of the value of 100.000£ Scots and upwards, in favour of the said David and the heirs male of his body ; whom failing, to the other heirs male of the marriage; whom failing, to Walter Nisbet his second son of the first marriage.”

 Alexander Nisbet married to Agnes Hog ancestor is not Alexander Nisbet of Dirleton ~ 15 Jun 1700

He definitely died before 1722 (probably before 1711 time of 2nd marriage) as his younger brother Walter is in a entail is said to be 2nd son of William Nisbet x Jean Bennett (see above under John x Rachel Mason and footnote below) As Alexander Nisbet who was married to Agnes Hog had a daughter Agnes born 5 Mar 1727 at Whittingham five years after we definitely know Alexander of Dirleton was dead, there is no way this is the same Alexander Therefore Alexander Nisbet of Dirleton b 1700 is not the Alexander Nisbet married to Agnes Hog

James Nisbet b ca 1690 who built Springton Mano,in Chester Co PA ancestor is not JAMES Nisbet of Dirleton~2 Feb 1688

of the Island of Barbados was lost at sea Jan 1738 (had property in England and will was proven in England) (son of ALEXANDER Nisbet . married 10 Nov 1665 to Katherine Porterfield + bef 1693 who had exchanged in 1672 lands of Dean for Craigintinnie with Sir Patrick Nisbet of Craigintinnie) His will mentions brother Thomas, sister in law Diana Nisbett, deceased sisters Margaret and Christian, living sisters Jean and Emilia, He left all his property (the use of his dwelling house by the harbor in Hamlet of Ratcliff Shepny went to his servant for use as long as he lived) to his sisters sons, other than some legacy’s the rest went to his sisters daughters so we can surmise that he did not have any wife and children of his own I also found on the internet that father of James Nisbet of Springton manor was Alexander Nisbet, b. 20 Aug 1670, of Berwick, Scotland , d. Aft 1728, Chester County, Pennsylvania and Elizabeth Gledson, 1672,of, , Berwick, Scotland (I have not checked whether this is correct or not) Therefore James Nisbet of Dirleton b 1688 is not the James Nisbet* ca 1690 built Springton Manor in Chester Co Pennsylvannia

John Nisbet married to Catherine Douglas ancestor is not JOHN HAMILTON NISBET of Dirleton ~ 23 Dec 1751

(later Surname Hamilton not Nisbet)+1804 of Pencaitland, Dechmont, and Winton. x 1782, Janet Dundas + 1810 dau of 2nd Lord President Arniston had no children, and sister Mary succeeded in the Pencaitland estates He could not have married a 2nd time to Catherine Douglas as his wife died after him Nor was he same John Nisbet that was father of children of Catherine Douglas, who had following children born in West Calder, - Jane Nisbet ( 10 May, 1801 ) - William Nisbet ( 10 Oct, 1802 ) - James Nisbet ( 22 May, 1805 ) to Canada 1822 The John Nisbet married to Catherine Douglas and father of above children was the brother of William Nisbet married to Jean Cleland not brother of William Nisbet of Dirleton The will in 1814 of William Nisbet married to Jean Cleland mentions his deceased brother John and Johns wife Catherine Douglas and above 3 children Therefore John Hamilton/Nisbet b 1751 of Dirleton is not same John Nisbet married to Catherine Douglas

John Nisbet thought to be father of William Nisbet x Elspeth Hall ancestor is not JOHN Nisbet of Dirleton bap 29 Jun 1722

JOHN Nisbet of Dirleton bap 29 Jun 1722 Eckford parish died young as his brother William is called his only son in 1735
1735 31 March -9 Jun 1735 Edict of curatory in favour of William Nisbet of Dirleton, only son of the deceased William Nisbet of Dirleton with curatorial inventory of the said William's means and estate. NAS GD6/1425


because of errors in family tradition and pedigrees this group  was thought to be connected to Greenholm
there is nothing at all known at this time that even gives an indication that this is so

Rev Alexander Nisbet

from Irvine Ayr 1623-1629 wife is Agnes Walkinshaw have found no proven connection to Greenholm
it was believed that it was their son James that came to to Newark, NJ 1685 that died in 1720 in USA
The James from Irvine definately appears to have stayed there and died in Scotland 2 Sept 1745
there is  an exact date for his death in Scotland which is a very strong indication that it is correct

Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ Ministers vol 3 that says Alexanders son JAMES was later a merchant in Irvine and died 2nd Sept 1745

James Nisbet x Sarah Frew

(his parents are definately not David Nisbett and Sophia Williams ) have therefore no proven connection to Greenholm

James Nisbet that married Nancy Taylor is definately not son of Archibald x Elizabeth Hogg of Greenholm
Their son James c 6 Jul 1737 died probably unmarried definately without issue before 1788 as in 1788 Sasine NAS RS14/32/34 says "David Nisbet brother German nearest and lawfull heir to deceased Robt Nisbet of Greenholm" nearest and lawfull heir means any older brothers he had were deceased and did not have issue

William Nisbet 1852-1939 x Catherine Logan

immigrated ca 1888 (Grandparents are William Nisbet x Catherine Paterson not Archibald b 1758) no proven connection to Carphin


Chart for Group 3

Group 3

In my opinion this group is possibly from Greenholm

It definately includes John Nisbet from Braidley who was later of Greenholm since he married Margaret of Greenholm they were born probably around 1510 any descendant of them has original Greenholm ancestry as Margaret descends from the older Greenholm line

They may quite possibly have a different DNA from their father UNLESS
John and Margaret were related which is also quite possible


Scotland Nisbet of Auchinairn (start about 1620 from Greater Glasgow area (mine))

London England ca 1680 (Patrick)

USA Alexander at sea son of John Nisbet ca 1705 Scotland and Sarah Brevard (Guy) (not all posted yet or checked for errors)

Andrew Nisbett London Area England ca 1825 (Peter)

John b ca 1623 and Henry b ca 1628 are not sons of Henry Nisbet x Catherine Gray

Ancestors and descendants from Scotland Ireland England related to John Nisbett Dowling  he meant this line came from Dalziel but I have a problem with his research among others he has John b ca 1623 and Henry b ca 1628 as sons of Henry Nisbett married to Catherine Gray neither of these are among Old parish register baptisms for this couple and they had a child every second year in this period so I would say this eliminates them as parents of above Henry and John (will check out rest of this line at a later date)

OPR marriage 23 Aug 1621 James Nisbet & Catharine Gray Edinburgh
bap parents James Nisbet & Catherine Gray
16 Jul 1622 NISBET Alexander Edinburgh
29 Aug 1624 NISBET James Edinburgh
2 Oct 1625 NISBET Catharine Edinburgh
17 Nov 1628 NISBET Philip Edinburgh
19 Jan 1630 NISBET Jeane Edinburgh

sasine Berwich 10 Apr 1623 GRAY James Nisbet & Katherine Gray



Nisbets that married Nisbet

ancestor line descendants COULD then descend from two different Nisbet DNA groups one by a female ancestor and another by a male ancestor

I believe that many of the errors in pedigrees and books may be a result of a families being told they are from a branch and automatically think this has to be a male line.
They then erroneously choose an ancestor from this line, who is the only probable of this line that can be found in available records.
Errors also occur when people erroneously choose an ancestor that can be found in available records when no record exists for their ancestor.
Unfortunately these errors are rapidly multiplied in Pedigrees and other publications and repeated over and over again.


Some of the Nisbets known that married Nisbets and there is more known and no doubt many unknown

1616 Robert Nisbet x Rachell Nisbet Edinburgh
1623 Robert Nisbet x Rachel Nisbet Dalzell
1633 Johnne Nisbet x Jeane Nisbet Edinburgh
1633 Johnne Nisbet x Jeane Nisbet Edinburgh
1636 George Nisbet of Nevoklaw x
Janet Nisbet Greenholm
1637 Robert Nisbet x
Marion Nisbet Duns
1646 Johnne Nisbet x
Rachel Nisbet Edinburgh
1660 Robert Nisbet x
Marion Nisbet Duns
1663 Patrike Nisbet x Bessie Nisbit Gordon
1663 James Nisbet x
Beatrix Nisbet Whittingehame
1664 Robert Nisbet x Marion Nisbet Duns
1665 Mungo Nisbet x Jonet Nisbit Dalzell in Flemington
1676 William Nisbet x
Alison Nisbet Innerwick  (East Lothian)
1681 John Nisbet x
Lillies Nisbet Cambusnethan
1682 Alexander Nisbet x Jenet Nisbet Sleydinmilne
1683 Alexander Nisbet x Marjory Nisbet Innerwick (East Lothian)
1691 John Nisbet x Jonet Nisbitt Loudoun
1705 Thomas Nisbet x Margaret Nisbit Hutton
1706 Thomas Nisbet x
Margaret Nisbet in Paxtoune
1715 John Nisbet x Janet Nisbet Hutton
1716 William Nisbet x
Elizabeth Nisbet Hutton
1719 George Nisbet x Isobel Nisbot Swinton and Simprim
1724 John Nisbet x Isobell Nisbet Hutton
1743 John Nisbet x Agnus Nesbit Foulden
1744 James Nisbet x
Anna Nizbet Dalziel
1768 Robert Nisbet x
Anna Nisbet Mordington
1773 John Nisbet x
Isobel Nisbet Coldingham
1814 William Nisbet x
Jean Nisbit Westruther
1815 William Nisbet x
Marion Nisbet Gorbals
1818 Robert Nisbet x
Marion Nisbett Loudoun
1827 Thomas Nisbet x
Margaret Nisbet Polmont
1844 John Nisbet x
Jessie Nisbet Ayr
1844 John Fleming Nisbet x
Elizabeth Mary Nisbet Barony