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(NBC News)   All Europeans are related if you go back just 1,000 years. In other news, all West Virginians are related if you go back 1,000 days   (cosmiclog.nbcnews.com) divider line 34
    More: Interesting, Europeans, East Europe, University of California at Davis, Alan Boyle, Cosmic Log, evolutionary biologist, Charlemagne, European population  
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1809 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 May 2013 at 9:09 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-08 08:21:29 AM  
s3-ec.buzzfed.com

Because Virginia is to ham as I am to bacon or in the prestigious words of whomever "Why not?"
 
2013-05-08 08:32:22 AM  
Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.

Also, subby's great-great-great-grandmother's second cousin's sisters nephew's great great granddaughter hoovers more junk than a Dyson.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-05-08 08:44:02 AM  

PainInTheASP: Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.

Also, subby's great-great-great-grandmother's second cousin's sisters nephew's great great granddaughter hoovers more junk than a Dyson.


Back before there were trains and cars and even roads people didn't move around much at all.  Inbreeding was mostly related to the fact that you pretty much had to find a wife within walking distance.

It has more to do with mobility than anything else.
 
2013-05-08 08:53:43 AM  
global.fncstatic.com

The new All in the Family?


/minus one?
 
2013-05-08 09:26:26 AM  
Sounds about right, if you consider that the earth is about 3000 years old.
 
2013-05-08 09:33:53 AM  
vpb:

Back before there were trains and cars and even roads people didn't move around much at all.  Inbreeding was mostly related to the fact that you pretty much had to find a wife within walking distance.

It has more to do with mobility than anything else.


And/or how hot your close relatives are.

But I resent the charge that West Virginians are more likely to be inbred than anybody else in similar circumstances. We're not THAT hot.
 
2013-05-08 09:34:29 AM  
This is why it's so amusing when people get so excited about tracing their lineage back to royalty.
 
2013-05-08 09:40:30 AM  
Brings out something that's relevant to my interests. I found out a couple of years ago that I have a rare blood type. Rare for my skin colour and area where I live. B+
My dads family are from Scotland and Wales, and his blood type is also B+. From some reading, that's a rare thing in the British Isles. Looking back through old photo's of my paternal grandmother, I noticed she has epacanthal folds over almond shaped blue eyes. I kind of wonder if we're not completely of British descent.
 
2013-05-08 09:45:58 AM  

Skyfrog: This is why it's so amusing when people get so excited about tracing their lineage back to royalty.


Interesting how everyone always seems to do that, isn't it? And then mention it any chance they can. Like it matters a fark, you over compensating, inferiority complexed, bastard [most likely].
 
2013-05-08 09:50:31 AM  

PainInTheASP: Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.

Also, subby's great-great-great-grandmother's second cousin's sisters nephew's great great granddaughter hoovers more junk than a Dyson.


Wouldn't that make it less easy to believe - the more common connections you have to the same person due to multiple lines of hereditary going back to the same person, the less people you are related to.

The reason for this effect is mostly due to exponential effects surely - so if you have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 gg grandparents and so on, the number just grows out of control very rapidly, the same way as the story about the Chinese guy wanting a grain of rice on the first square of a chess board, 2 on the second, 4 on the third, and so on, and it works out effectively even before 40 squares in that you are talking about more rice than has ever been harvested in history.

If you assume a very conservative 30 year "generation" on average, then 33 generations would in theory give you 8,589,934,592 ancestors 1000 years ago*, which is more than the entire world population now, let alone back then. Whether that covers all Europe or not depends on your assumptions about how frequently and when common ancestors appear, mostly relating to overlaps in the more recent parts (so in the extreme case, if your parents were siblings then you only have 2 grandparents, 4 g grandparents, 8 gg grandparents etc., so the final result instantly halves, but if you are second cousins that is already up to 14 gg grandparents)

*If you assume 25 year generations it is more like 1 trillion
 
2013-05-08 09:50:53 AM  

indarwinsshadow: Brings out something that's relevant to my interests. I found out a couple of years ago that I have a rare blood type. Rare for my skin colour and area where I live. B+
My dads family are from Scotland and Wales, and his blood type is also B+. From some reading, that's a rare thing in the British Isles. Looking back through old photo's of my paternal grandmother, I noticed she has epacanthal folds over almond shaped blue eyes. I kind of wonder if we're not completely of British descent.


IIRC B+ is relatively more common amlong the Celtic people --Welsh, Irish, etc.
 
2013-05-08 10:16:34 AM  

indarwinsshadow: Brings out something that's relevant to my interests. I found out a couple of years ago that I have a rare blood type. Rare for my skin colour and area where I live. B+
My dads family are from Scotland and Wales, and his blood type is also B+. From some reading, that's a rare thing in the British Isles. Looking back through old photo's of my paternal grandmother, I noticed she has epacanthal folds over almond shaped blue eyes. I kind of wonder if we're not completely of British descent.


B+ not good enough! You get A+ or you not come back home!--Disappointed Asian Father
 
2013-05-08 10:22:08 AM  
Fun fact: all cats have the same blood type, which explains the presence of that sleepy looking cat at your vet's office.
 
2013-05-08 10:23:21 AM  

vpb: PainInTheASP: Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.

Also, subby's great-great-great-grandmother's second cousin's sisters nephew's great great granddaughter hoovers more junk than a Dyson.

Back before there were trains and cars and even roads people didn't move around much at all.  Inbreeding was mostly related to the fact that you pretty much had to find a wife within walking distance.

It has more to do with mobility than anything else.


It was common with isolated areas to share their wives to avoid inbreeding, especially with travelers.
 
2013-05-08 10:35:33 AM  

spawn73: vpb: PainInTheASP: Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.

Also, subby's great-great-great-grandmother's second cousin's sisters nephew's great great granddaughter hoovers more junk than a Dyson.

Back before there were trains and cars and even roads people didn't move around much at all.  Inbreeding was mostly related to the fact that you pretty much had to find a wife within walking distance.

It has more to do with mobility than anything else.

It was common with isolated areas to share their wives to avoid inbreeding, especially with travelers.


I should start traveling more.
 
2013-05-08 10:45:16 AM  

PainInTheASP: Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.


It has absolutly nothing to do with the size the the average village. It's easy to believe one you understand exponentiation.
2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 2n... It doesn't take a very big n before the number of ancestors becomes larger than the number of people alive at the time, or the number of people who have ever lived.
 
2013-05-08 10:56:33 AM  

spawn73: vpb: PainInTheASP: Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.

Also, subby's great-great-great-grandmother's second cousin's sisters nephew's great great granddaughter hoovers more junk than a Dyson.

Back before there were trains and cars and even roads people didn't move around much at all.  Inbreeding was mostly related to the fact that you pretty much had to find a wife within walking distance.

It has more to do with mobility than anything else.

It was common with isolated areas to share their wives to avoid inbreeding, especially with travelers.


You mean all those travelling salesman jokes are accurate?
 
2013-05-08 11:23:10 AM  
That's West BY GOD Virginians, Subby.  You sure your name isn't McCoy?
 
2013-05-08 11:44:12 AM  
As long as the inbreeding doesn't reach critical mass like it did for this guy :
upload.wikimedia.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_Spain

www.alternatehistory.com
/hotlinked, because I'm lazy
 
2013-05-08 11:44:39 AM  
1000 years?

One would think that is a typo
 
2013-05-08 11:53:03 AM  

xria: *If you assume 25 year generations it is more like 1 trillion


From what I recall of my Phys Anthro class 40-some years ago, throughout most of human history generational spacing is more like 18-20 years. So yeah, a thousand years ago we all had multiple lines of relatedness to each other.
 
2013-05-08 12:02:52 PM  

groppet: spawn73: vpb: PainInTheASP: Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.

Also, subby's great-great-great-grandmother's second cousin's sisters nephew's great great granddaughter hoovers more junk than a Dyson.

Back before there were trains and cars and even roads people didn't move around much at all.  Inbreeding was mostly related to the fact that you pretty much had to find a wife within walking distance.

It has more to do with mobility than anything else.

It was common with isolated areas to share their wives to avoid inbreeding, especially with travelers.

I should start traveling more.


For that purpose, may I recommend Greenland. :)

Just go to a disco or a bar, the girls are very friendly.
 
2013-05-08 12:12:07 PM  

MagicBoris: As long as the inbreeding doesn't reach critical mass like it did for this guy :
[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x306]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_Spain

[www.alternatehistory.com image 783x604]
/hotlinked, because I'm lazy


It doesn't even stop there. These are the three from the top-left corner of that chart...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_I_of_Castile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_of_Castile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_of_Portugal
...take a look at their ancestries.
 
2013-05-08 12:48:20 PM  

basemetal: [global.fncstatic.com image 660x371]

The new All in the Family?

/minus one?


Maybe they could do a "Very Special" episode
 
2013-05-08 12:57:32 PM  
And every human on earth is related if you go back further than that.
 
2013-05-08 01:25:51 PM  

Bad_Seed: PainInTheASP: Real easy to believe once you consider the size of the average village for much of human history, and the fact that people don't move around much once they settle down.

It has absolutly nothing to do with the size the the average village. It's easy to believe one you understand exponentiation.
2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 2n... It doesn't take a very big n before the number of ancestors becomes larger than the number of people alive at the time, or the number of people who have ever lived.


Came here to say THIS.

It's hardly groundbreaking to find that 1000 years ago, at which point one's theoretical family tree is 2(1000/20) ~ 150 thousand times the current world population in width, everyone in Europe shared not just one but many common ancestors. At that point I'd surmise you're pretty close to everyone in the eastern hemisphere being related due to a handful of travellers/merchants.
 
2013-05-08 02:58:59 PM  

erik-k: At that point I'd surmise you're pretty close to everyone in the eastern hemisphere being related due to a handful of travellers/merchants.


RagnarSmiling.jpeg
 
2013-05-08 03:20:24 PM  

Bad_Seed: It has absolutly nothing to do with the size the the average village. It's easy to believe one you understand exponentiation.
2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 2n... It doesn't take a very big n before the number of ancestors becomes larger than the number of people alive at the time, or the number of people who have ever lived.


Came here to express my utter shock that exponential growth results in obvious conclusions.  Found I was beaten to it.  Carry on.
 
2013-05-08 03:59:19 PM  
Dear Subby,

theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com


/Subs must be a yinzer.
 
2013-05-08 04:03:08 PM  
From TFA:
"Anyone alive 1,000 years ago who left any descendants will be an ancestor of every European"

Especially that dude who had one kid, who in turn only had one child, etc., am I right?

Oh wait, these "scientists" don't know what the FARK they are talking about. These are the same idiots who just last year told us that ALL people on earth would share common ancestor within 4,000 years. Uhm, yeah. I am sure the Inuit and those from Papua New Guinea had a recent common ancestor.

These "scientists" should be climatologists, what with the whole garbage in garbage out mentality. Only in this case, instead of 'garbage in - garbage out', it is just garbage garbage.

Eventually, even these Einsteins will learn the difference between 'identical by state' and 'identical by descent'.
 
mjl
2013-05-09 03:08:10 AM  
indarwinsshadow:I kind of wonder if we're not completely of British descent.

No one is of completely British descent ...  I rather like that :-)
 
2013-05-09 08:00:29 AM  
Well us Europeans did spend the majority of the time invading one another, for a multitude of reasons including "giggles" and "why not?".   The rape in "rape & pillage" would neatly explain this.

But then America is as much a mongrel nation as any EU country...  because that's kinda where a lot of your ancestors came from.
 
2013-05-09 07:56:18 PM  

MagicBoris: As long as the inbreeding doesn't reach critical mass like it did for this guy :
[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x306]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_Spain

[www.alternatehistory.com image 783x604]
/hotlinked, because I'm lazy


Watch what you say about my first cousin Charley (AKA Flowers for Algernon) (That's what my family tree says--he's my first cousin 10 times removed. Philip III is my tenth great grandfather. Cool. I did not know that and I'm the one who collected the file that contains that information.

Philip I the Handsome is my 13th great grandfather. I hope I inherited his looks.

His wife was Joanna (Juana) the Mad. I hope I inherited his looks.

My latest additions to my collection of famous, ridiculously distant relations, include Charles Addams (the cartoonist, I love him so much!), John Dryden (we share an astrological sign) and Jonathan Swift (we share a sense of humour).

Unfortunately, my connection to Jonathan Swift is through one of these ancient kings, so he is my 23rd cousin six times removed, which makes him nearly as distant as Prince Charles (28th cousin once removed). The once removed means he's in my father's generation and the 23rd cousin means our common ancestor is a 24th great grandparent. Probably Edward III or somebody common in most if not all English trees.

Royalty and Nobility are a pain in the neck. They changed their names and titles more frequently than they changed their shirts. I can't begin to keep them straight. Go back far enough though, and they're all you got left because nobody kept any records of the matings of the peasantry and serfs.

There's three things I like in a genealogical find:

1) they should be somebody whose relationship to you is simple so you don't have to explain or read the description from a card. Direct ancestors are cool. So are simple cousins, such as a 35th cousin. No explaining to the hoi polloi how degrees of propinquity work;
2) they should be somebody interesting. A lot of interesting people are jerks (pirates, plutocrats, ax murderers, etc., but that's what makes them interesting. I have a number of famous loonies in My Famous Loony Collection. I'm related to Sarah Palin (she does have one use--she's descended from ten Mayflower passengers, so you can loot her family tree for Pilgrims and Puritans like I did), Lyndon H. Larouche, Jr., Joseph Smith, Ezekiel Stone Wiggins the 19th century weather and earthquake prognosticator (he has some really crazy ideas on religion and science also) and even Lizzie Borden, the famous ax-murderer, although I don't know how.
3) Somebody who is either a personal hero or a famoous bug-a-boo, like Vlad the Impaler, for example.

My cousin George Bush has a tree chock-full of famous people ranging from General Tom Thumb and his wife to Marilyn Monroe. Presidents and Prime Ministers are very collectible even if you hate politics because they form a nice finite set. They're just like Mars Attacks! cards. You can collect the whole set (except for Martin Van Buren--he's impossible to find! Like that reallly rare obscure baseball player who was photographed giving the bird to the photographer.

Genealogy is fun, hard work, aggravation, disappointment, pride, a lot of busy work, and so forth. It's the perfect hobby for people who like to hunt and gather. It can also be a great way to find out about your genetics. You might be at risk of some obsucre family curse that turns you into toads like something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story or Gahan Wilson cartoon. Or you might be likely to live to 100. Either way, documenting your genetic and social heritage is not entirely frivolous. You could be one of the heirs to a great estate or a pension that has been paid for five hundred years to descendants of some national hero.

Charlemagne is the Great European Ancestor par excellence because if you want a link to anybody who is anybody or nobody for that matter, he's your man. I am related to a lot of wonderful people and personal idols (like Charles Darwin) through him, but also to the Infamous Greats like Adolph Hitler and François Mitterand. Unfortunately he was so long ago your links are very tenuous. You have to get to work and find somebody closer until you find a reasonably straight line that doesn't zig-zag through half-cousins and mothers-in-law.

Meh. It's a hobby.
 
2013-05-09 08:20:47 PM  
The real reason why everybody is connected to everybody else is the Small World Phenomenon (aka Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon).

In order for this to work you need both extraordinarily well-connected "nodes", plus many poorly connected "nodes". Like the people you know on Facebook who have 10 million "friends" and those who are more normal, like yourself, with your ten or or twenty friends, counting Grandma Jones.

The internet is a prime example, with many millions of sites that are poorly connected to each other and mega-sites that are connected to everybody under the Sun.

If the connections were homogenous (say, if every one was connected to 500 people, no more, no less), it would take many links to connect any two points. But some families are vast and well-connected over a large area (royalty, nobility, Clown Cars, etc.) while some are connected to only a small number of people, maybe none of them very well-connected.

Yes, people lived in small villages (they still do, even in giant cities) and inbred for several generations at least, but there is always that one guy with wanderlust or that commercal traveller who scatters his seed like Wilt Chamberlain. Thus the tight little communities where everybody is everybody else's cousin six different ways get connected to the great wide world.

This is true of all networks. Too much order is stiffling and too much chaos destroys the web. Life itself is made up of webs of the small world type, and even on the genetic or molecular level, individual genes and molecules are either very well-connected or sparsely connected.

Understanding this has taken science thousands of years, but genealogy is one of those fields which both illustrate and result from the Small World Phenomenon. If you live in a big city you might miss the importance of interconnectness and be sort of parochial, but in a small village like the one I came from, you have to leave town just to buy groceries. The only things to do for entertainmet on Friday night is 1) drive down to the gas station, gas up and leave town or 2) drive down to the gas station and watch other people gas up and leave town. Buy some popcorn while you're there!

The good news is that it takes about eight or nine generatons to really inbreed to the six-finger point, so most small villages get a slow but steady inflow of fresh blood that keeps them from dying out or turning into new species of swamp ape. In fact, many scientists believe that a certain amount of inbreeding helps to purify the gene pool by filtering out the deadly genes.

There are a number of really inbred Royal Families in history (in Egypt, among the Mayans) where people married a lot of half-sisters and aunts (Cleopatra VIII married her idiot brother and is believed to have played a role in his mysteriously premature death). This was considered OK because they were Royals and because the fact that they could do this without horrible genetic tares proved they were made of better stuff than the common people.

But one of the reasons why Turks and Englishmen are so close genetically is that the nobility of Europe had to search far and wide for wives who were not incestuously linked (at one time the Church did not allow them to marry their tenth cousins). So a lot of them sent ambassadors to Turkey and other out of the way places to haggle for wives.

Ha! Many of your ancestors were not just Muslims but Turks. I know I have a line of descent from the Prophet Mohammed, although it is really shaky. But just because it is totally made up doesn't mean that it isn't true. The whole point of this study is that even with faulty or unknown genealogies, you are STILL related to everybody surprisingly many times.

If you don't like the idea of being connected to the scum of the Earth as well as the people who are always better at everything than you are, remember my Mother's old ancestral maxim: past third cousin, cousin doesn't count.

But hey, Charles II is my first cousin so he counts.

I used to be the King of Spain but now I toss pizzas in Toronto.

There was a King of Naples who confessed that he regretted that he had never learned how to fricasee a chicken. Sounds like a good sensible man to me.
 
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