My father, with whom I went on family tree research trips for 25 years,
died of a sudden and unexpected illness on 27 Feb 2008.
His family is heartbroken.
He was a great father. I was very close to him.
Crenson nicely phrases how we only need one ancestor to be
physically descended from someone.
That genealogy is not the pursuit of broad patterns (like genetics).
Genealogy is the pursuit of statistical artefacts.
"Though people like to think of culture, language and religion as barriers between groups,
history is full of religious conversions, intermarriages, illegitimate births and adoptions
across those lines. ...
"And the thing is, you only need one," said Mark Humphrys,
One ancestral link to another cultural group among your millions of forbears,
and you share ancestors with everyone in that group. So everyone who reproduced with somebody
who was born far from their own natal home
- every sailor blown off course, every young man who set off to seek his fortune,
every woman who left home with a trader from a foreign land
- as long as they had children, they helped weave the tight web of brotherhood we all share."
Olson points out that
The Da Vinci Code does not understand genealogy:
"no matter how the court case turns out, both books are confused. If anyone living today is descended from Jesus, so are most of us on the planet."
He criticises DNA studies, which
- by focusing on male-male or female-female lines only -
look less connected than they really are:
"The risk of today's genetic genealogy tests is that they tend to
divide people into groups,
whereas the real message that emerges from genealogy is one of connections.
People may like to think that they're descended from some ancient group while other people are not. But human ancestry doesn't work that way".
I am quoted in a
Nature news feature
[Rohde et al., 2004].
"Looking at the whole sweep of the Americas, Europe, Asia, right across to Japan,
I wouldn't be surprised if we had a common ancestor in the AD years."
Note that it slightly misquotes me that:
"A single prolific parent can have a vast influence".
The original parent doesn't actually have to be prolific.
All they need to have is 2 children to be a MRCA.
first published in 1826,
and for 177 years their entry for PEMBROKE excluded the Gibbon line
because it was illegitimate.
When Burke's Peerage was re-launched in 1999,
they said they would include illegitimate lines,
so I contacted them in 2000.
Due to my research, in the next edition in 2003
I managed to get Gibbon
They had been excluded from it for
Radio National, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation),
15th Dec 2002.
The audio link
is not working.
See a hilarious reference to this in
from The Wall Street Journal,
25 Nov 2002,
in a discussion of "post-traumatic slavery disorder"
and the universal victimhood (and guilt!)
of our ancestors.
The readers' suggestions here,
with their laid-back approach to
crimes committed against their ancestors,
exactly how I think people should think about ancestry -
instead of nursing ancient grievances
Steve Cook, May 25, 2004:
"If Mark Humphrys is right, a thousand secret kings walk down every city street, untroubled by the weight of their crowns."
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