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 -
Of Ministers and Merchants, Sinners and Saints.
The writer moved from Manhattan to same street in Brooklyn where his grandmother grew up. This prompts him to delve into his family history, where he discovers a cast of characters that includes Ulpianus Van Sinderen, a Dutch Reformed Minister who came to Brooklyn in 1747, prosperous merchants, tenant housing reformer Alfred Tredway White, and an embezzler. Brief appearances by Jacob Riis and Truman Capote.
posted by marxchivist
on Feb 28, 2013 -
The U.S. National Archives today released the returns from the 1940 national census
, providing an invaluable resource to historians and genealogists. At the moment, you'll need to know the particular address you want to see--the records are not yet searchable by name. A companion project seeks to fix that by enlisting your help in a crowdsourced project
to index the census data. However, if you're looking for a New York address, you can use this clever site
from the New York Public Library to look someone up in the 1940 phone book. (FYI, the site seems to be running a bit sluggishly under first-day load, so you may need to be patient.)
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Apr 2, 2012 -
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness
is a global organisation that matches people in need of distant genealogical research with remote volunteer researchers. Volunteer services range from help with searching physical records and obtaining documents to the discovery and photography of graves. [more inside]
posted by Ahab
on Aug 8, 2011 -
One seemingly innocuous video
, briefly ruminating on the potential story behind a curious gravestone, leads fans of the VlogBrothers on an impromptu genealogy adventure
. [more inside]
posted by litnerd
on Feb 25, 2011 -
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 -
Charles Cawley's Medieval Lands
is an encyclopedia of every major European noble family (and most minor ones) from AD 500 to 1500. Even as a work in progress, its scale is staggering.
posted by Iridic
on May 17, 2010 -
is a genealogy site, compiling information on the historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents of Canada and the U.S. that our ancestors endured, as well as, information about their life and death. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Dec 9, 2008 -
Philosophy of History
is what the page is called; it's by a philosophy professor, Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.
, who's a libertarian and obsessed with Leonard Nelson and the Friesian School, whatever the hell that is. Never mind all that. If you scroll down past the essays and the Military History section and the calendars and the book reviews, you get to the Reference Resources. As he says, "Not all of history may be covered here, but a very extensive fragment of it certainly is." Take, as one tiny example, Margraves & Counts of Flanders
. There's a longish introduction and a colored map, then there are lists of rulers and detailed genealogies accompanied by more text, then similarly for the Counts of Artois, the Kings & Dukes of Brittany, the Counts of Anjou, the Dukes of Normandy, the Counts of Blois & Champagne, the Counts of Toulouse, the Dukes of Aquitaine and Dukes of Gascony, the Lords & Counts of Foix, the Kings and Lords of Man, the Dukes of Marlborough and Earls of Spencer (including a detailed list of the Vanderbilts), the Dukes of Buccleuch, Grafton, & St. Albans, and the Dukes of Berwick & Fitzjames. That's one page. There are dozens and dozens of them. The Prime Ministers of the Dominions, the Kings of Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland, the Islâmic Rulers of North Africa, the Emperors of India, China, & Japan, all the way down to the Mangïts of Bukhara, 1747-1920. If you have any interest in history, This Site's For You.
posted by languagehat
on Jun 23, 2007 -
Who's Your Grandaddy? Ancestry.com
"has compiled an online database
of information on 500 million people, culled from every U.S. census record from 1790 to 1930" that "includes screen shots of the handwritten forms filled out by census-takers." Usually you have to pay to access the records, but they're providing three days of free access.
posted by kirkaracha
on Jun 22, 2006 -
The Surname Profiler Project Website
. A recent research project based at University College London (UCL) has investigated the distribution of surnames in Great Britain, both current and historic, in order to understand patterns of regional economic development, population movement and cultural identity. Start a search here
posted by davehat
on Feb 2, 2006 -
"is devoted to the postcards my grandfather collected from approximately 1906-1918. The collection is comprised of 435 postcards, most of which were produced in Russia, Poland and Germany." [coral cache
posted by strikhedonia
on Nov 3, 2005 -
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 -
The Mathematics Genealogy Project.
A service of the Department of Mathematics
at North Dakota State University
, the project intends to "compile information about ALL the mathematicians of the world. [...] It is our goal to list all individuals who have received a doctorate in mathematics." Seven generations from one of my recent professors back to Gauss
, six back to Felix Klein
(of Erlangen Program
fame), eight back to Jacobi
, and nine back to Poisson
, then Lagrange
, then Euler
, then the Bernoulli brothers
, then Leibniz
, and then it blew up at infinity.
posted by gramschmidt
on Dec 21, 2004 -
The Best-Kept Data-Superpower Secret on the Web
RootsWeb is one of the older sites on the Net, and has one of the densest data collections, but it gets very few props. Almost all of the (we're talking terabytes here) data is a.) free; b.) user-contributed. It was open-source and public domain when Linus Torvalds, bless his soul, was still muddling through high school. Sugar-daddy site Ancestry.com
does a lot of advertising, but you hardly ever heard about homely, brilliant RootsWeb. RootsWeb hosts many of sites that make up the WorldGenWeb Project
, a loose network of genealogical and historical data repositories organized by locality, from the AfghanistanGenWeb
through the USGenWeb
all the way to the ZimbabweGenWeb
. Rootsweb's Social Security Death Index
UI is excellent--use it to search for a record amongst 70 million available. The WorldConnect
database offers up the family trees of 298,212,965 people. Remember the domain, because after this when you Google, you'll be impressed (I believe) by how many content-heavy sites are hosted by RootsWeb. Any other RootsWeb-hosted sites that MeFites enjoy?
posted by jengod
on Oct 7, 2003 -
The American Family Immigration History Center has made available online the passenger manifests for all the ships that docked at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924. It's searchable by name, and you can look at a photostat of the actual page of the manifest. I found my great-uncle (Demetrios Calisperis, from Samos, Greece, debarked Ellis Island Nov 1907, at age 11 -- hiya, Uncle Jim!). Free to register and search. Paid membership lets you build a family scrapbook about your ancestor that can be searched by other researchers.
posted by BitterOldPunk
on Jul 14, 2003 -
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 -
- i wonder. take note of the nationality. a search for that name (Czarne Hitler) on google yielded lots of mostly polish discussions. any ideas?
posted by subpixel
on May 2, 2001 -
The American Family Immigration History Center™
will use state-of-the-art interactive computer technology to bring the immigration records on ancestors who came to the USA as long as a century ago to one's fingertips. The data is being taken directly from the ships' passenger manifests, which are currently on microfilm at the National Archives and Records Administration. To be completed in Spring 2001.
posted by frednorman
on Apr 17, 2001 -
A rather interesting article
on how scientists how found that people with the same surname usually share some common DNA. This could soon be used to track down the original founder of your last name.
posted by Mark
on Apr 5, 2000 -