Author Topic: Oldest families  (Read 3507 times)

Oldest families
« 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 ?
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

David Martin

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 06:58:44 pm »
Mine peters out around the hugenots in the late 1400s
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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #2 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.

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #3 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) .
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #4 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 ...
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

ian

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #5 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/
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hellymedic

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #6 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.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #7 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.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #8 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.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #9 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.

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Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2018, 07:28:39 pm »
Of course prior to DNA testing only documented maternal decent has any real validity ...
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

ian

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #11 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.
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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #12 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.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

hellymedic

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #13 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.

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #14 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.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #15 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.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #16 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.
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hellymedic

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #17 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.

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2018, 07:54:54 pm »
I may except Norfolk, of course.

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hellymedic

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #19 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.

Wowbagger

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #20 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.

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nicknack

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2018, 08:10:00 pm »
 ;D
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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #22 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.

Re: Oldest families
« Reply #23 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!)

mcshroom

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Re: Oldest families
« Reply #24 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.
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