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.
I am descended from Charlemagne!
And you are too. I found tantalizing ideas in this Atlantic Interview
of Steve Olson. Unfortunately, his Atlantic article
is not available (for free, anyways). He mentioned, in the interview, the work of Humphrys and Chang. A fwe Google searches later, among a labyrinth of pages about Royal descents
, I FOUND!
what I was looking for [More inside]