GENIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > GENIRE > 1999-09 > 0937210416
From: Barney Tyrwhitt-Drake <>
Subject: Re: IRISH GENEALOGIES OLDEST
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 09:13:36 +0100
In article <IA%C3.601$>, Louis Epstein
>It's unlikely that you have no royal descents.
If you've British ancestry this plainly isn't true. This argument is
usually made purely on mathematical grounds. Something like, there were
1.5 million people in Britain in 1066 while today there are about 55
million. There have been roughly 30 generations since William I, so the
odds are x:1 that you have ancestry from him.
What this argument ignores is the fact that the royalty and the nobility
didn't marry at random. Particularly in the middle ages, marriage was an
economic tool that kept land and money in the hands of an elite with
only small but definite upwards and downwards migration. (A book like
Bruce MacFarlane's "The nobility of later mediaeval England" will
amplify this point.) It was only really the children of Edward I and
Edward III who were the ancestors of a large number of English men and
women. Many of these lines have been documented with a reasonable degree
of accuracy in publications like Ruvigny's "The Blood Royal of Britain",
and using his research there were only around 100,000 people in the
world in 1900 who had some British royal ancestry. This is a far smaller
number than you would expect if you subscribed to the mathematical
I've not seen analyses made of descents from Scottish and Irish kings,
or from Welsh Princes, but I suspect the pattern is similar.
Of course you could say that the further back you go, the greater the
probability is that you have descent from Saxon, Viking or Celtic kings.
However, genealogy is the art of the provable not the fantastic, and
since there is precious little if any documentation from this era,
you'll have no evidence. We can all dream of King Arthur as our 40 x
great grandfather, but a dream is all it will be.
Drake Software web site: http://www.tdrake.demon.co.u
|Re: IRISH GENEALOGIES OLDEST by Barney Tyrwhitt-Drake <>|