Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Topic started by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 06:53:16 pm

Title: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 06:53:16 pm
I wonder how old the oldest families are? Well I know we all go back to some ancestor in teh rift valley but I mean documented. Can any family in Europe for example trace its ancestry back to Imperial Rome ?
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: David Martin on October 14, 2018, 06:58:44 pm
Mine peters out around the hugenots in the late 1400s
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Ham on October 14, 2018, 07:00:15 pm
Most people called Cohen could. Allegedly. And Levi.

Cohen were the priests and the levites their attendants in ancient Judea, it is likely that at least a large proportion could claim patrilineal descent, arguably to before 1,000 BC.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 07:08:25 pm
Some Googling suggests that nothing really holds up except in China (not surprising really given how long there has been a continuous literate civilisation there) where some families claim descent from Confucius and genetic testing tends to back them up.
In Europe it all seems to fall apart in the early medieval period. You can get back to about 800AD but not much further.
I was quite surprised given the continuity of the Western Empire (Byzantium) I would have thought that one family in Greece or Turkey would have bee able to claim documented descendancy form some senatorial family in Rome.
Apparently there is even a term for this DFA or "Decent From Antiquity) .
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 07:10:19 pm
Ooh they did find some chaps in a German village are definitely related (DNA tests) to some 3000 year old remains found in a cave in the same area. Nothing about anyone in-between though so that doesn't really count just shows some people don't travel much ...
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: ian on October 14, 2018, 07:14:59 pm
Go back to 1400 and everyone in Europe shares their ancestry, so it's a bit of a vanity to trace back further. Even if you find an ancestor in Imperial Rome, you'll share that lineage with practically everyone else in Europe (and much of the western world).

See https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/05/the-royal-we/302497/
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: hellymedic on October 14, 2018, 07:17:51 pm
Most people called Cohen could. Allegedly. And Levi.

Cohen were the priests and the levites their attendants in ancient Judea, it is likely that at least a large proportion could claim patrilineal descent, arguably to before 1,000 BC.

Cohen was sometimes 'naturalised' to Conway, Coren, Cowan, Kahn (NOT Khan!) or Katz (Hebrew letters for Cohen Tzedek)
Likewise Levy became Leviitt or similar.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 14, 2018, 07:23:00 pm
Ooh they did find some chaps in a German village are definitely related (DNA tests) to some 3000 year old remains found in a cave in the same area. Nothing about anyone in-between though so that doesn't really count just shows some people don't travel much ...
There was also a bloke in Cheddar who was found by DNA tests to be related to a skeleton of similar age found in one of the caves there.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 07:24:46 pm
Go back to 1400 and everyone in Europe shares their ancestry, so it's a bit of a vanity to trace back further. Even if you find an ancestor in Imperial Rome, you'll share that lineage with practically everyone else in Europe (and much of the western world).

See https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/05/the-royal-we/302497/

That's a vast simplification and probably incorrect. It takes no account of how stationary populations were. The chances of someone from the Lake District meeting never mind having offspring with someone form Greece in 400-1800BC (basically from the withdrawal of |Roman Imperial troops from the UK to the Industrial revolution) was tiny. The same for most of Europe.  Don't they say the bicycle was the most important thing ever for the mixing up of genes in Europe.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 14, 2018, 07:27:08 pm
Most people called Cohen could. Allegedly. And Levi.

Cohen were the priests and the levites their attendants in ancient Judea, it is likely that at least a large proportion could claim patrilineal descent, arguably to before 1,000 BC.

Cohen was sometimes 'naturalised' to Conway, Coren, Cowan, Kahn (NOT Khan!) or Katz (Hebrew letters for Cohen Tzedek)
Likewise Levy became Leviitt or similar.
I thought Levy became Strauss.

I'll get my coat, it's the denim jacket...
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 07:28:39 pm
Of course prior to DNA testing only documented maternal decent has any real validity ...
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: ian on October 14, 2018, 07:30:48 pm
Populations aren't nearly as static as we think, it just takes one person each generation to flee the familial abode. Inbreeding will certainly push it back in some areas, but ultimately, once you pass between 30-35 generations, we all share an ancestor. I may except Norfolk, of course.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 07:32:46 pm
Populations aren't nearly as static as we think, it just takes one person each generation to flee the familial abode. Inbreeding will certainly push it back in some areas, but ultimately, once you pass between 30-35 generations, we all share an ancestor. I may except Norfolk, of course.

Really, even with someone from China, Central Africa or an indignant New Zealander ? Plus if we restrict this to Europe the Black Death did a great big reset wiping out 1/3 of teh population and whole villages.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: hellymedic on October 14, 2018, 07:36:24 pm
Of course prior to DNA testing only documented maternal decent has any real validity ...

Which is why being Jewish, according to Jewish law, is passed down the maternal line.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 07:37:12 pm
Of course prior to DNA testing only documented maternal decent has any real validity ...

Which is why being Jewish, according to Jewish law, is passed down the maternal line.

How very sensible.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 07:38:48 pm
Populations aren't nearly as static as we think, it just takes one person each generation to flee the familial abode. Inbreeding will certainly push it back in some areas, but ultimately, once you pass between 30-35 generations, we all share an ancestor. I may except Norfolk, of course.

Really, even with someone from China, Central Africa or an indignant New Zealander ? Plus if we restrict this to Europe the Black Death did a great big reset wiping out 1/3 of teh population and whole villages.

Anyway it doesn't matter the point is more that does anyone have documented linage that goes back to antiquity and it seems in Europe no, which I still find surprising.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Beardy on October 14, 2018, 07:51:28 pm
Given that the Dark Ages are named for their lack of documentation, it seems unlikely that many people in Europe are likely to have recorded that actually bridge the medieval.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: hellymedic on October 14, 2018, 07:52:44 pm
I suspect wars and vandalism will have destroyed much documentation.

Some Jewish populations will have been literate and stable, yet their documents and graveyards will have ben destroyed.

Monasteries will have had literate inhabitants but any issue might not have been documented.

The Royals will probably trump the others though.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Soaplady on October 14, 2018, 07:54:54 pm
I may except Norfolk, of course.

Oi doon' know waa yow stinjy, bor!
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: hellymedic on October 14, 2018, 07:57:38 pm
Given that the Dark Ages are named for their lack of documentation, it seems unlikely that many people in Europe are likely to have recorded that actually bridge the medieval.

Which is why I suggested Royals might have the best documented lineage.

Strikes me a population needs to be affluent, stable, comfortable and literate to be able to document its lineage reliably.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Wowbagger on October 14, 2018, 08:05:59 pm
Go back to 1400 and everyone in Europe shares their ancestry, so it's a bit of a vanity to trace back further. Even if you find an ancestor in Imperial Rome, you'll share that lineage with practically everyone else in Europe (and much of the western world).

See https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/05/the-royal-we/302497/

That's a vast simplification and probably incorrect. It takes no account of how stationary populations were. The chances of someone from the Lake District meeting never mind having offspring with someone form Greece in 400-1800BC (basically from the withdrawal of |Roman Imperial troops from the UK to the Industrial revolution) was tiny. The same for most of Europe.  Don't they say the bicycle was the most important thing ever for the mixing up of genes in Europe.

Future generations will all claim to be descended from Abraham.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: nicknack on October 14, 2018, 08:10:00 pm
 ;D
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: hubner on October 14, 2018, 08:10:23 pm
The idea of a family going back more than a few generations is dubious anyway.

Go back 10 generations which is only about 250 years and you've got 1,000 great great great...parents.

20 generations or 500 years it's 1 million.

And that's not including all the ancestors in the generations in between.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Legs on October 14, 2018, 08:13:30 pm
My father has identified about 40,000 members of our family tree and their relationship to us.  Since we are traceable back to the kings of Wessex, Mercia and England (Aethelred etc), who were regarded as being descended from the Norse gods, my 42x great grandfather is Odin.  (Of course, nearly everyone can say this, but I'd be able to show you if I had a big enough piece of paper!)
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: mcshroom on October 14, 2018, 08:36:26 pm
The idea of a family going back more than a few generations is dubious anyway.

Go back 10 generations which is only about 250 years and you've got 1,000 great great great...parents.

20 generations or 500 years it's 1 million.

And that's not including all the ancestors in the generations in between.

From my mother's studies into the relations of every single Devonian her family tree, after a few generations you start to see that a lot of those relatives are actually not individually exclusive. Back more than about 150 years people invariably married within a few miles of where they grew up. Outside of major cities, that would have been from villages of only a few families, so the family inter-relationships get rather complex.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 14, 2018, 08:57:24 pm
The idea of a family going back more than a few generations is dubious anyway.

Go back 10 generations which is only about 250 years and you've got 1,000 great great great...parents.

20 generations or 500 years it's 1 million.

And that's not including all the ancestors in the generations in between.

From my mother's studies into the relations of every single Devonian her family tree, after a few generations you start to see that a lot of those relatives are actually not individually exclusive. Back more than about 150 years people invariably married within a few miles of where they grew up. Outside of major cities, that would have been from villages of only a few families, so the family inter-relationships get rather complex.

Continuous to this day. My sister and her husband are both second generation descendants of the Irish diaspora. Turns out our grandparents are form the same small market town in Mayo and we have several relatives in common.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Ham on October 14, 2018, 09:32:51 pm
The idea of a family going back more than a few generations is dubious anyway.

Go back 10 generations which is only about 250 years and you've got 1,000 great great great...parents.

20 generations or 500 years it's 1 million.

And that's not including all the ancestors in the generations in between.

From my mother's studies into the relations of every single Devonian her family tree, after a few generations you start to see that a lot of those relatives are actually not individually exclusive. Back more than about 150 years people invariably mostly married within a few miles of where they grew up. Outside of major cities, that would have been from villages of only a few families, so the family inter-relationships get rather complex.

People have always travelled. That might be a minority, but it has always happened both in the poorer classes (builders, entertainers, whatever) and the richer (anyone for a crusade?)
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: ian on October 14, 2018, 09:51:27 pm
Populations aren't nearly as static as we think, it just takes one person each generation to flee the familial abode. Inbreeding will certainly push it back in some areas, but ultimately, once you pass between 30-35 generations, we all share an ancestor. I may except Norfolk, of course.

Really, even with someone from China, Central Africa or an indignant New Zealander ? Plus if we restrict this to Europe the Black Death did a great big reset wiping out 1/3 of teh population and whole villages.

The estimate is for Europe, but holds elsewhere, we can do the math – it's actually straightforward to model. Die-offs, of course, concentrate the effect, as does any other genetic bottleneck. It's quite surprising, even assuming limited levels of outbreeding, how quickly genetic material spreads, despite a clear historical preference for ringing the bells of our first and second cousins.

I'm not arguing that it's not fun to trace your ancestry (mine are all miners, bare-knuckle fighters, and carnies), just that ultimately, we're all related, and you generally don't need to go back that far to find shared ancestry.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Kim on October 14, 2018, 09:53:30 pm
I'm not arguing that it's not fun to trace your ancestry (mine are all miners, bare-knuckle fighters, and carnies)

IRTA 'canaries'
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: hatler on October 14, 2018, 10:02:58 pm
Doesn't mitochondrial DNA analysis reveal that all of western Europe's indigenous population came from only six women ?
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Peter on October 14, 2018, 10:32:14 pm
Who signally failed to die in chilbirth........
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: chrisbainbridge on October 14, 2018, 10:58:02 pm
The Spanish Armada is supposed to have brought an influx of foreign genes into Scotland as the Spanish sailors who survived married local women.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Torslanda on October 14, 2018, 11:28:11 pm
Dunno but if it's true, probably explains why Scots and Englanders can't understand each other.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Ben T on October 14, 2018, 11:36:34 pm
I wonder how old the oldest families are? Well I know we all go back to some ancestor in teh rift valley but I mean documented. Can any family in Europe for example trace its ancestry back to Imperial Rome ?

Aren't all "families" by definition as old as mankind itself? No one just "sprung up" out of nowhere, everyone was born to two parents.

Define "family" though...
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: PeteB99 on October 15, 2018, 11:06:59 am
Ooh they did find some chaps in a German village are definitely related (DNA tests) to some 3000 year old remains found in a cave in the same area. Nothing about anyone in-between though so that doesn't really count just shows some people don't travel much ...
There was also a bloke in Cheddar who was found by DNA tests to be related to a skeleton of similar age found in one of the caves there.

He shared a still extant Mt DNA haplogroup with the skeleton which means at some point in the distant past they shared a female ancestor. I can't remember which haplogroup it was but the relation ship could have applied to a good proportion of the indigenous population. (He was a local teacher and the team did actually get a closer match with one of the schools pupils. Common sense triumphed when they realised that some grubby tabloid was likely to try and get the girl to pose in a loincloth or something worse and they agreed to put the safely middleaged teacher forward as the suggested descendent.)

Doesn't mitochondrial DNA analysis reveal that all of western Europe's indigenous population came from only six women ?

The original estimate was seven indigenous haplogroups in West Eurasia, subsequent research has expanded and complicated that a bit but it's still mostly valid
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: pcolbeck on October 15, 2018, 11:14:38 am
I wonder how old the oldest families are? Well I know we all go back to some ancestor in teh rift valley but I mean documented. Can any family in Europe for example trace its ancestry back to Imperial Rome ?

Aren't all "families" by definition as old as mankind itself? No one just "sprung up" out of nowhere, everyone was born to two parents.


This is of course true. The original point was a family who has documented history going back to imperial Rome.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: T42 on October 15, 2018, 01:58:44 pm
The Spanish Armada is supposed to have brought an influx of foreign genes into Scotland as the Spanish sailors who survived married local women.

Yup: I used to work with a bloke from Buckie whose name was Hendry Dalgano.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: arabella on October 15, 2018, 07:34:22 pm
Or Tedeschi, which is Italian for German (and some are now in England).

Meanwhile there is something called the <my-family-name> scroll which purports to trace lineage back* via Noah to Seth and Adam.  I suspect it is a work of fiction.  ::-)
I can, otoh, probably trace back to the normans (with massive help from previous family historians), but no further.
(Same should be true for JenM as she has same surname and I've always been told we're all related on account of said norman invader.)

Royal ('royal') lineage is probably the best documented.

*I think assorted kings of some description were involved, but the only time I saw (a copy of) this wonder was over 30 years ago.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Legs on October 16, 2018, 06:15:29 am
Royal ('royal') lineage is probably the best documented.

Yes, and, although kings and noblemen fathered numerous bastard offspring in days of yore, it would have been much less common for their wives to provide illegitimate progeny.  *cough* Harry *cough* thobut...
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: T42 on October 16, 2018, 10:21:08 am
Chum of mine managed to trace his lineage back to one of the Bourbons' bastards.  My own are none so distinguished: Scots transplanted to Ulster under James I and a Yorkshireman who helped Cromwell slaughter half of Wexford and settled there in the goodwill thus generated. And that lot just on my father's side. Mum's side was untraceable beyond 2 generations: Vale of Leven, she always said.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Moleman76 on October 29, 2018, 06:05:36 am
and of course, there is this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_My_Own_Grandpa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_My_Own_Grandpa)
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Canardly on October 29, 2018, 09:26:09 am
I met an interesting chap in France some years ago ( a prof at a northern university)  who claimed that his family having changed their name during the revolution, were actually decended from the first kings of Jerusalem.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Andrij on October 29, 2018, 10:16:50 am
I met an interesting chap in France some years ago ( a prof at a northern university)  who claimed that his family having changed their name during the revolution, were actually decended from the first kings of Jerusalem.

Crusader or Jewish?
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Canardly on October 29, 2018, 11:15:38 am
Godfrey de Bouillon - Crusader 1099 or thereabouts.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Ham on October 29, 2018, 11:21:53 am
that's souper!
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Karla on October 29, 2018, 11:51:03 am
Go back to 1400 and everyone in Europe shares their ancestry, so it's a bit of a vanity to trace back further. Even if you find an ancestor in Imperial Rome, you'll share that lineage with practically everyone else in Europe (and much of the western world).

See https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/05/the-royal-we/302497/

That's a vast simplification and probably incorrect. It takes no account of how stationary populations were. The chances of someone from the Lake District meeting never mind having offspring with someone form Greece in 400-1800BC (basically from the withdrawal of |Roman Imperial troops from the UK to the Industrial revolution) was tiny. The same for most of Europe.  Don't they say the bicycle was the most important thing ever for the mixing up of genes in Europe.

Future generations will all claim to be descended from Abraham.

(click to show/hide)

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Canardly on October 29, 2018, 12:37:02 pm
that's souper!
Genetic soup.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Ham on October 29, 2018, 01:44:09 pm
Yeah, came from hardy stock
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Canardly on October 29, 2018, 03:06:03 pm
A soupcon. We have currently got back to 1571 on my dad's side whereas the Missus is 17th gen grandaughter of the Bruce, apparently. Lot of Irish in the mix and one grandparent who was allegedly thrown off a train by his platoon during the Boer War.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Efrogwr on November 05, 2018, 11:51:55 am
Mrs E's great, great, great grandmother is said to have been a Persian princess, descended from Alexander the Great. She is said to have been rescued from her stepfather, an Afghan warlord , during the First Afghan War, by a Scottish officer in the East India Companys private army.

I don't know what (if any) documentation there is. I suspect that any records have long been lost in the mists of time in Iran or Afghanistan.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 05, 2018, 12:11:23 pm
I am directly descended from the Duke of Wellington, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha and Piltdown Man.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: hellymedic on November 05, 2018, 12:35:24 pm
Since Piltdown Man was a work of fiction, I'm not sure how much I believe the rest...
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: ian on November 05, 2018, 01:04:00 pm
Apropos of this and our understated relatedness to one another, I was reading about the role of GEDmatch in (inadvertently) solving criminal cases (and how it's become the go-to for law enforcement in the US). Despite a fairly modest pool of genetic data that only covers around 1% of the US population (and predominantly white, Europe-derived Americans who pay for services like 23andMe), relatedness makes it very powerful (on average any given individual has up to 300 third cousins). Basically, they exploit the innocent upload of genetic profiles (these are SNPs, not the more specific STRs used in law enforcement databases) by relatives (often distant) by building a family tree. SNPs can also reveal things like ethnicity, hard colour etc. as they can fall within genes (STRs, on the other hand, are more purely genetic markers).
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: FifeingEejit on November 05, 2018, 01:21:32 pm
The Spanish Armada is supposed to have brought an influx of foreign genes into Scotland as the Spanish sailors who survived married local women.

Often ending up with the unimaginative surname "Spain"


When it comes to the idea that people only traveled within a few miles of where they were born; consider the movements of the Celts and Magyars both being pushed from the East, and then the Romans who did a bit to constrain them by pushing northwards.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: TheLurker on November 05, 2018, 03:54:29 pm
One of my more distant relatives decided it would be "fun" to do a family tree. I thought it was a pointless exercise because we're a long line (or rather a large web) of low lifes and ne'er do wells who've never done anything, or known anyone, worth remarking on.   Oh how I smirked when we all vanished into a haze of illegitimacy in the 1850s and 60s.  Still makes me snigger.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: Beardy on November 05, 2018, 06:35:37 pm
Having a (grizzly) murderer as a second cousin, a murdered cousin (his uncle) a cousin who was a suspected dealer of suspect pharmaceuticals and a cousin whose past we don’t talk about in detail in polite company I’ve no desire to go rootling through history to find more skeletons.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: hatler on November 05, 2018, 08:05:00 pm
The oldest of my cousins has done the family tree thing and determined a couple of interesting nuggets.

Our great grandfather had 13 children, .... after the age of 65, the last of which was our grandfather. And great-grandfather was born before the battle of Waterloo.

We have two women somewhere in the family (different branches) who were executed for killing their husbands. One of them might even have been burnt at the stake.
Title: Re: Oldest families
Post by: FifeingEejit on November 06, 2018, 05:42:13 pm
Others have done my families trees.
Traces back quite far into some hardly related link, 1600s

But what I really want to know is why so many of my nearer relatives have moved to the new world or australia and then moved back... I can understand the south africans all returning to Fife but...