Monday, February 28, 2005

Are You Related To Yourself?

It's a simple matter of math, geography, and settlement patterns:

The numbers are pretty easy.

There is 1 of you--unless you've got an identical twin.

Two biological parents, four biological grandparents, eight biological great-grandparents.

The number keeps doubling each generation.

Counting yourself as generation one, by the time you have reached generation twenty, the seventeenth great-grandparent generation has been reached.

There are 524,288 theoretical blank spots in this generation of your pedigree chart.

Depending upon how "mixed" your ancestry is, there's a reasonable chance of repetition.

Extend the lineage back ten more generations and the number is a staggering 536,870,912 ancestors!

Now there's a database (documenting it is another story).

Thirty generations ago, the world's population was significantly less than half a billion.

If you could trace each line that far (and chances are you can't), there would be names repeated.

When one keeps in mind the small geographic area these individuals came from the number of "repeat" ancestors is not surprising.

When records allow tracing ancestors for two or three hundred years in a village of two or three hundred people, the chance of intermarriage is great.

If individuals from a small village migrate to the United States together (as some individuals from this area did) the geographic closeness may be replicated (at least for thefirst few generations).

Even if you are not related to yourself, it's possible that you are related to an individual in more than one way.

There are many individuals who are "double first cousins" (where brothers married sisters, for example).

The relationship may get even more complicated than that.

Should we be telling people about all these double cousins? HA!

~~Written by Anonymous

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