Sunday, August 05, 2018

Who Do You Think You Are ?


As I failed 'O level' maths, you will need to check my calculations.

But let us assume that for those of us who live in England that four generations of our ancestors were born in each century back to the times of the figures published in the Domesday Book in 1086. There are of course, also national boundaries to consider as these altered over time and parentage would  often cross boundaries Then also births normally take place at a later stage today, than in the distant past.

My assumption of four generations being born per-century is based on the notion that relevant births occurred around 25 years periods. Say 1600, 1625, 1650 and 1675. So I am not over-egging the pudding in my analysis.

On my assumption that means that someone born in the year 2000, with parentage mainly from this country may be part of the 38th generations since the publication of the Domesday Book figures. Back then it was estimated that the English population was only 2 million. So we are likely to be much more closely related to each than the programme "Who Do You Think Your Are ?" generally indicates. For if we were all entirely unconnected genetically the population in 1086 (ignoring various overseas settlers and departures) would have needed to be massive and not just a mere 2 million. Then our heritage is complicated by the fact that we are normally unaware of whom was born the wrong side of the blanket. Maybe more of us have an aristocratic linkage than we could ever imaged. For even just back to 1086, we would have needed a population then of some 250 trillion to have created today's population without there being any forms of even the remotest cross breeding.

So "Who Do You Think You Are?" makes more sense, if it just dives back no more than three or four generations - and finds fairly reliable genuine parentages. Beyond that we should see ourselves as part of a general melting pot. Those with a long term aristocratic background may have a greater assurance about their physical heritage. Yet it only takes one slip to have dented their pattern.

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