The work of the statistician Joseph Chang in 1999
showed that it was almost certain that all Europeans are descended from Charlemagne
Now, a new genomic analysis of European populations titled The Geography of Recent Genetic Ancestry across Europe
, shows that Chang was essentially right.
As the paper concludes "...so long as populations have mixed sufficiently, by 1,000 years ago everyone (who left descendants) would be an ancestor of every present-day European. Our results are therefore one of the first genomic demonstrations of the counterintuitive but necessary fact that all Europeans are genealogically related over very short time periods, and lends substantial support to models predicting close and ubiquitous common ancestry of all modern humans"
The paper is quite accessible and includes much more data about the interrelatedness of different European populations.
But for those who have more questions, the authors have prepared a FAQ.
posted by vacapinta
on Aug 27, 2013 -
In Iceland, with a population of around a third of a million, the danger exists of that heady one-night stand ending up as an intimate encounter between near-relatives, as nearly happened to the friend of Elin Edda
. No longer, due to the launch of an android app
("Bump the app before you bump in bed") which easily tells a budding couple how related they are. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Apr 16, 2013 -
Joe Mozingo had always been told that his family name was "maybe Italian." In a three-part article
in the L.A. Times, the "blue-eyed, surfing son of a dentist" journalist discovers that the Mozingo name actually traces back to an African slave freed in 1672. [more inside]
posted by infinitywaltz
on May 19, 2010 -
The family trees of American politicians
- There are those with very long blue blood pedigrees
, and there are those with very short and unknown pedigrees
. There are also some surprises, like a certain Democratic senator
and possible '08 Veep pick being somewhat closely related to the current Veep
, or that certain ex-mayors
have family trees that were apparently a bit inbred back in the old country. Other fun tidbits: Newt Gingrich
's father was illegitimate, John Kerry
is related to the rabbi who created the Golem of Prague, Pat Buchanan
is related to both FDR and Marilyn Manson, Wesley Clark's father was a Kohan
, Martin Luther King
was born Michael Louis King, and Gary Hart
was born Gary Hartpence, which was in turn derived from an ancestor named James Eberhart Pence. (more non-politicians here
posted by Asparagirl
on Oct 3, 2005 -
Who were your first ancestors?
Tracking ancient ancestors and the migration of ancient peoples through DNA. Progressive maps from 200,000 years to 10,0000 years ago show the movement of our "tribes" since Adam.
posted by adamvasco
on Apr 13, 2005 -
There's One In Every Family:
You know that uncle whose name can't be mentioned at table, without loud swallowing, dark looks and deathly silence ensuing? The shady New Orleans grandmother whose photographs have been hastily removed from the family album, though the red stain from one of her garters remains? Call them black sheep or family skeletons, the Internet keeps making it easier
to dig them up and out. Outing your forebears
and close family members has become an up and coming thing. In other words: I'll show you my black sheep if you show me yours.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Feb 23, 2003 -
Muhammad O' Ali.
Geneologists have uncovered his Irish roots. His great grandfather was an Irish emigree who married an African American woman in Kentucky.
posted by Lanternjmk
on Feb 8, 2002 -
Getting to know the Hitlers
David Gardner, a UK journalist, travelled to the US to chase up the family of Adolf Hitler's "loathsome nephew", William Patrick Hitler, who found himself fighting in the US Navy during WWII. Interesting enough, his four sons made a pledge to not have children, to ensure the end of the Hitler bloodline.
posted by John Shaft
on Jan 22, 2002 -