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Thread: Genealogy Snobs

  1. #1
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    Genealogy Snobs



    I have an acquaintance that constantly goes on about her genealogy and that her family can trace their roots back to Charlemagne. I finally have become a little tired of it, I believe that probably that some large percentage of people in Western Europe or people whose family originated in Europe can claim descent from Charlemagne.
    Is there any statistical information that backs up my belief? I'd really like to throw some statistical information into her face to dampen her bragging.

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    Use google or yahoo to type in terms like Charlemagne, Confucius, Descendants. I found some links but I couldn't post them because I have less than ten posts.

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    Statistics are impossible to make, but it is very likely that most (if not all) people in North-Western European descend from Charlemagne (and, by him also Clovis).

    I started making a list of families descending from Charlemagne using his official genealogy, but I stopped at the 11th generation (20th for Belgium only).

    I can myself trace my ancestry back to Charlemagne via the Dukes of Brabant, but some connections around the 16th century are a bit shaky (documents not always reliable or available).

    Anyhow, unless one descends hundreds of times from an ancestor who lived 1200 years ago (so roughly 40-50 generations), the amount of DNA inherited from that ancestor could very well be nil. What's more, even with a proven paper genealogy, there are never any proof that one's maternal ancestors were always faithful, or that secret adoptions didn't take place. That's why I don't give much credit to paper genealogy anymore, especially since DNA tests became so readily available.

    I wish that Charlemagne's full genome could be tested one day and compared with the modern European population. I suppose that the highest similarities will be found around the Frankish homeland (Rhineland, Belgium, Luxembourg, northern France). It might be interesting to try to find the individuals with the highest percentage of shared DNA to have a better idea of what Charlemagne looked like. We could already ascertain his hair and eye colour and skin pigmentation from raw DNA. Ultimately I believe it will be possible to reconstitute any historical person's approximative looks based on his or her DNA.

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    The fact that you have traced your line back to Charlemagne pretty much proves my point. I have not dug far enough back into my ancestry to make that claim (as you say ancestry gets pretty foggy in the 15th and 16th centuries.) However I have traced mine back to several of the British, Scottish and French noble lines, so I am pretty sure that I too could make the claim as I am fairly sure most people of Western European origin could make.
    Personally I think that by the time you move 40 generations into the past I would guess that most Europeans are related probably more than one time.
    In the genealogy I have done I have found several incidents in the last 4 or 5 generations where cousins in my family have married. One of the strangest was the fact that my paternal grandfathers 8 generations back and one of my maternal grandmothers 8 generations back were brother and sister who immigrated to America on the same ship in 1733.
    So I am afraid that we are all pretty much an inbred bunch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Statistics are impossible to make, but it is very likely that most (if not all) people in North-Western European descend from Charlemagne (and, by him also Clovis).

    I wish that Charlemagne's full genome could be tested one day and compared with the modern European population.
    I read recently that 1 in 200 men can claim descent from Genghis Khan. Can't vouch for it though. Determining the full genome of famous people would be fascinating to those of us into genetic genealogy.

    What chance reconstructing the genome might become possible under conditions it is not currently?

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    Yes, I remember the story when it came out in 2003. I just went Google diving for the story and it was 8% of the men in Central Asia or about 16 million men carried what is assumed to be Genghis Khan's Y DNA. I also found where Russian and Polish researchers claimed that they found 0% evidence of GK's DNA in Russian populations from Northern Central Asian republics.
    That seems sort of funny with the density found by other researchers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I read recently that 1 in 200 men can claim descent from Genghis Khan. Can't vouch for it though. Determining the full genome of famous people would be fascinating to those of us into genetic genealogy.

    What chance reconstructing the genome might become possible under conditions it is not currently?
    Pretty much everyone in Central Asia and Mongolia descends from Genghis Khan. The man fathered over a hundred children, many of whom inherited positions of power that allowed them to mate like rabbits too. That's hardly surprising.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristander View Post
    Yes, I remember the story when it came out in 2003. I just went Google diving for the story and it was 8% of the men in Central Asia or about 16 million men carried what is assumed to be Genghis Khan's Y DNA. I also found where Russian and Polish researchers claimed that they found 0% evidence of GK's DNA in Russian populations from Northern Central Asian republics.
    That seems sort of funny with the density found by other researchers.
    Y-DNA is a very small part of the story. All Central Asians carry Genghis Khan's autosomal DNA without any doubt.

    Charlemagne does not have a single direct Y-DNA lineage officially surviving today (surely many unofficial bastard branches though) but his autosomal DNA is in all North-Western Europeans and most people of European descent. His genealogy reveals a tendency of his male descendants of fathering more girls than boys.

    I am convinced now that some Y-DNA haplogroups have a slight bias in producing more sons than other haplogroups. I think it is the case of the R haplogroups, but not of I, which is why northern and western Europeans are now predominantly R1b rather than I1 or I2. I think this alone is a good tip that Charlemagne was an I1 or I2b.

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    I'm not so interested to know it. As for me, past is past.

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