A LUNESDALE man has discovered that he is related to the Queen after tracing his family tree.

John Dwyer, of Hutton Roof, started his genealogical quest after his grandfather asked him to look into his family history 40 years ago.

And after many years of researching his ancestry, the 61-year-old has discovered that William the Conqueror was his 29th great grandfather and he has family links with King Edward I.

Mr Dwyer, a superintendent for the school of health and medicine at Lancaster University, said: “I started looking at the family history on and off. It was very hard work but really took off about five years ago when online facilities became available.”

Mr Dwyer said his dedication started to pay off 18 months ago.

“I found that I was going back quite early and found that Sir Humprey Gilbert — the first person to colonise America under Elizabeth I and also the half brother of Sir Walter Raleigh — was my great great aunty’s sixth great grandfather. But I hit a brick wall on my side,” he said.

The Gilbert family still lives in Crompton Castle in Devon.

With the help of a genealogist in Devon, Mr Dwyer discovered his own direct line and that his ancestors were Welsh royalty and that one of his ancestors was related to Owen Tudor, who was Henry VII’s grandfather.

He also found his family was related to Edward I and in a direct line to Queen Elizabeth II, who is his 20th cousin three times removed — their common ancestor being Rhys AP Gruffydd — the great grandfather of both.

Mr Dwyer, who has researched and added 10,000 family members to his family tree, said: “There is lots of work involved and when I get to the interesting stuff I just want to carry on and I can carry on until the early hours of the morning. Once I find something interesting, I cannot stop.

“When I found out that William the Conquerer was one of my great grandfathers it was brilliant.

“I am a very distant cousin and so I am not going to get a title or a castle but it is nice to have a royal background,” he said.

He says some of his family, who hail from Cornwall, sailed on the Titanic to America and survived.

“I have made contact with cousins all over the world through my family search,” he said.

“I even realised there are American cousins who are direct descendents of Edward I and are not aware of this yet, but would be astounded by this discovery as the Americans would love that connection.”

Mr Dwyer, who is married to Linda and has an 18-year-old daughter, Abi, has never met the Queen or a prominent royal, but said: “I am a royalist.

"I think that the marriage of Prince William and Kate will give the royal family a good boost.”

Ancestry.co.uk, has said only four per cent of the population can claim royal ancestry.