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  #1  
Old 10-03-2002, 03:35 PM
waldenfont waldenfont is offline
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Roman Ancestry?

I was wondering ...

Are there any families today that trace their ancestry back to Roman times? I'm sure there's tons of bogus claims, but I'm wondering if any of the Roman nobility made it through the dark ages.


Cheers,


Oliver
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2002, 05:03 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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Most people of European descent with decent genealogy skills and knowledgable about their family background can trace their roots to Charlemagne. Now:

1. There's an old Frankish genealogy that traces their kings back to Caesar Augustus. It is considered "quasi-mythological".

2. There's another genealogy that traces back from Charlemagne thru prominent Dark Ages church officials to a late Western Roman Emperor. Maybe some questions about it but not so blatantly iffy as the first. I don't know offhand if this genealogy goes even further back.

Note that some of the Roman Imperial Family intermarried with descendants of prominent Hebrew families. So that there are people out there that give their genealogy to Adam and Eve. Oooookay.

There is also at least one SDMB member who is a descendant from the Prophet Muhammad.
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2002, 07:04 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by ftg
Most people of European descent with decent genealogy skills and knowledgable about their family background can trace their roots to Charlemagne. Now:



That's total nonsense. Only a handful of very ancient noble families can trace back their ancestry to the XII°-XIII° century. No genealogy skill will allow you to trace your lineage to the middle-ages, because there's basically no documents left, except if your family happened to be of prime importance at these times (and very few of these families still exist).


The oldest lineage in Europe is the french Capetian family, which has a proven ancestry dating back to around 850. Since Charlemagne died in 814, there's exactly *zero* person of european descent who can trace his roots to Charlemagne.


And of course, there's no way to come back to the roman times. Some noble families during the middle ages had legendary and totally imaginary genealogies. They would find some noticeable ancestor as the supposed founder of the family. Depending on their ambition and on the creativity of their genealogist, this supposed ancestor could range from a famous saint who lived a couple of century ago to a hero of the greek mythology. But these claims were of course totally baseless.
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2002, 07:18 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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ftg, correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you trying to say that the overwhelming statistical probability is that any person of European descent is a direct lineal descendent of Charlemagne.

But that doesn't mean each of us can document that ancestry, through the use of historical documents and records.
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2002, 08:49 PM
jimmmy jimmmy is offline
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Would you be willing to concede that the Byzantine Empire was trully the "Eastern Roman Empire"?

If so, then most European Royal families (like the Romanovs and Swedish Royal fam.) - but trully all & it is a mistake to name names - have Eastern Roman Empire descent.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2002, 07:51 AM
TheThill TheThill is offline
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I would gather that European nobility, emperors, kings, etc. have always been so prolific, especially outside of wedlock, that just about every person of (at least Continental) European descent has Roman and non-Roman noble ancestors.

Or to look at it mathematically: Assuming 4 generations per century, 1600 years would be equivalent to 64 generations or potentially 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 ancestors! Of course the number of actual ancestors cannot be anywhere near that for obvious numerical reasons (many of one's great-great-...-great grandparents will be the same people) but the potential alone shows how likely it is to descend from any given ancestor back at that time. This is particularly likely, taking into consideration all the wars and migrations that have led to genetic mixing and movement.
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2002, 08:15 AM
Fern Forest Fern Forest is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by clairobscur
That's total nonsense. Only a handful of very ancient noble families can trace back their ancestry to the XII°-XIII° century. No genealogy skill will allow you to trace your lineage to the middle-ages, because there's basically no documents left, except if your family happened to be of prime importance at these times (and very few of these families still exist).
I don't think ftg is saying that these are direct male lineages but rather that it's possible for many people to find out that their father's mother's mother's father's mother's mother's father's father's father's father's mother was the 3rd daughter of some minor nobility whose mother's mother was none other then the 3rd daughter of the Duke of Warwick. Now this is very hard but I don't think we have any real idea how many people today could make a proper document trail for a co-sexual line from themselve back to Charlemagne since many people don't care about genealogy, many people are bad at genealogy and many people aren't willing enough to do the work that can make those connections and only a few actually have completed the work necessary to connect back then. I know I've got a huge wall in my research and the answer is in Tennessee. I've known this for years but simply can't get there to do the work.

I've seen some people on this site claim Roman ancestry. Color me very skeptical. Perhaps one of them could come along and give us a sources ancestral line.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2002, 11:34 AM
APB APB is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by clairobscur
The oldest lineage in Europe is the french Capetian family, which has a proven ancestry dating back to around 850. Since Charlemagne died in 814, there's exactly *zero* person of european descent who can trace his roots to Charlemagne.
These people would disagree.

http://charsoc.users4.50megs.com/
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2002, 11:59 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by clairobscur
That's total nonsense. Only a handful of very ancient noble families can trace back their ancestry to the XII°-XIII° century. No genealogy skill will allow you to trace your lineage to the middle-ages, because there's basically no documents left, except if your family happened to be of prime importance at these times (and very few of these families still exist).

The oldest lineage in Europe is the french Capetian family, which has a proven ancestry dating back to around 850. Since Charlemagne died in 814, there's exactly *zero* person of european descent who can trace his roots to Charlemagne.
There are too many obvious fallacies in this post to counter them all. First of all, I was not talking about direct male descent. Queen Elizabeth (and all royals in Europe) are known descendents of Charlemagne. This is not a disputable fact.

Secondly, there are not two distinct groups of people: the nobles and commons for the last 1000+ years. People intermarry.

I will give a couple of examples from my own genealogy.

I am descended from Hannah Schenck (1833-1863). My mother has old photos of two of her (longer lived) brothers. Hannah came from one of the most prominent early Dutch families of New York (New Amsterdam). One of her ancestors was the first European settler on Long Island. There are shelves of books on the genealogy of these familes. Her ggggg-grandfather was Martin Schenck van Nydeck (1584-1650). The first Schenck in America. Martin's ancestors were minor nobles in Holland. His g-grandfather was Lord of Afferden. From there, you're in the Dutch Royal Family database. You soon hit Adelheit van Buren (heard of the van Burens?) and thence into more prominent nobles, etc. up to Judith, princess of the West Franks and then Charles de Groot (as he is given in the Dutch databases).

Given the family's prominence and success and the centuries involved, I would guesstimate that 10% of all Americans are descended from these early Dutch families. Other prominent families from that era include the Brokaws (as in Tom) and the Bogarts (as in Humphrey). And thus also descended from Charlemagne just via this one branch alone. And there's a lot of other branches to consider.

Example 2. I wanted to find a direct link to the old Norwegian kings on my father's side. What I had to start with: a family history written in the 1920's that lists my g-grandfather's generation and 3 generations back (to before 1800). The family history has since been confirmed by Norwegian parish and census records. I found all of the ancestors alive at the time in the 1801 Norwegian national census available at the Digital Archive.

One of the ancestor's listed in the family census was living with her parents and a very old grandfather in the 1801 census. Tracking down the grandfather in parish records and earlier censuses led me to his grandfather (with the same name on the same farm) who lived (c1642-1714). That's far enough back to use a really great GedCom file austring that covers many of the prominent people in Rogaland going back to the early kings. It is extrememly well documented (unlike 99% of the GedComs out there). In no time I was linked to Sæbjørn Toresson (1510-1578). Quoting from the austring file:

"Most persons with roots in Ryfylke (Rogaland) can trace descent through Sæbjørn Toresson, back to a number of famous Scandinavians of the Middle Ages, including many of the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish kings between Harald Fairhair and Håkon IV."

The file gives the actual links to Harald Fairhair (860-943). From there, you move into the Kings of the sagas, which give another 1000 years of genealogy to Njord of Noatun, god-King of the Swedes.

Note that almost everyone with an ancestor from Rogaland is therefore descended from a known line going back around 2000 years (at least 1400 of which is historical). You just need to know how to get back to someone relatively prominent in the 1801 census or earlier.

If you have an ancestor from Buskerud Amt in Norway, there's similar files giving links back to Halvdan "the Black". And no doubt likewise for the other Norwegian counties.
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2002, 12:57 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Hey, I have traceable Roman ancestry. My paternal grandmother emigrated from Rome when she was four years old. Now, ancient Roman ancestry, that's a little harder...
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2002, 01:29 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
That's total nonsense. Only a handful of very ancient noble families can trace back their ancestry to the XII°-XIII° century. No genealogy skill will allow you to trace your lineage to the middle-ages, because there's basically no documents left, except if your family happened to be of prime importance at these times (and very few of these families still exist).


The oldest lineage in Europe is the french Capetian family, which has a proven ancestry dating back to around 850. Since Charlemagne died in 814, there's exactly *zero* person of european descent who can trace his roots to Charlemagne.
I note that ftg has already refuted your argument, clair, but let me add some material:

One of my great-great-grandmothers was a Harrington. Going back four generations, like I did, is something most people can do, with a little effort.

It happens that the Harrington family kept records (family Bible and all that) leading back to a John Harrington who was a Puritan settler and who married an Ann Clinton, daughter of the Puritan convert who was Earl of Lincoln.

The Clintons, in turn, were descended from the Howards and the Staffords, who in turn could show royal ancestry from the Plantagenets. It goes almost without saying that if your property and income are based on your ancestry, as was the case for most noble families prior to the Industrial Revolution, you keep careful records of that sort of thing.

The Plantagenets, in turn, can show ancestry to the House of Wessex and to the Counts of Flanders, both of whom link back to daughters of Charlemagne.

The linkage back to Roman times is, as noted, iffy -- but there are historical records of the ancestor who supposedly married into a lineage that does trace back through the Dark Ages.

My point is not to brag about my noble ancestry -- for the most part, I could care less. The fact of the matter is that nearly everybody can at least theoretically establish the same sort of linkage -- assuming they can tie at some point into a line already researched.

(E.g., also from my own genealogical researches -- another great-great-grandmother was born a Chaffee, granddaughter of Comfort Chaffee of Berkshire, VT. One of his great-great-grandmothers was a Persis Rice, and Rice, when you trace that line, becomes an Anglicization of Rhys, adopted as a surname, and lineal descendents of the Rhys ap Tewdwr Dynevor line of Gwynnedd in Wales.)
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  #12  
Old 10-04-2002, 02:14 PM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polycarp
My point is not to brag about my noble ancestry -- for the most part, I could care less.
I think you mean the opposite: you could not care less.
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2002, 03:37 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Walloon: Precisely right. This slangy phrase started as an ironic twist on "I could not care less" and was popular to the extent of clichédom a few years ago; I probably should not have used it.
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2013, 01:03 AM
Gewnpen Gewnpen is offline
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I have traced my family tree to thoses days

I have traced my line back to a roman commder. The same commader who was sent to deal with Maxmus when he tried to take over rome. His name was fluvius. So it is possible to do so it is easyer when one has famous ancesters. It is possible even if you don't it just takes work. To the one who is decendent from charlegmanes daughters hi distant cusion I to am a decedent of louis the pius. I know how you feel about not caring less I only looked my tree up for the fun of it in to see where my family came from
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  #15  
Old 04-18-2013, 01:43 PM
Asympotically fat Asympotically fat is offline
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Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
That's total nonsense. Only a handful of very ancient noble families can trace back their ancestry to the XII°-XIII° century. No genealogy skill will allow you to trace your lineage to the middle-ages, because there's basically no documents left, except if your family happened to be of prime importance at these times (and very few of these families still exist).


The oldest lineage in Europe is the french Capetian family, which has a proven ancestry dating back to around 850. Since Charlemagne died in 814, there's exactly *zero* person of european descent who can trace his roots to Charlemagne.


And of course, there's no way to come back to the roman times. Some noble families during the middle ages had legendary and totally imaginary genealogies. They would find some noticeable ancestor as the supposed founder of the family. Depending on their ambition and on the creativity of their genealogist, this supposed ancestor could range from a famous saint who lived a couple of century ago to a hero of the greek mythology. But these claims were of course totally baseless.
I can quite reliably trace by ancestry back to the 13th century just from a few fairly simple internet searches.

There's a few Lords and a Lord Justice and a lot of baronets, but no-one of prime importance in the lineage I can trace.

Last edited by Asympotically fat; 04-18-2013 at 01:44 PM..
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  #16  
Old 04-18-2013, 01:50 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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Be aware that this thread is over a decade old. Also be aware that Gewnpen is not descended from any English teachers.
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  #17  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:33 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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There are two kinds of people: the people who can trace their ancestry, and the people whose ancestry records were burned by the first kind. I belong to the second kind of people.
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  #18  
Old 04-18-2013, 03:13 PM
dstarfire dstarfire is offline
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There are two kinds of people: the people who can trace their ancestry, and the people whose ancestry records were burned by the first kind. I belong to the second kind of people.
I thought membership in those two groups was regularly swapped depending on which christian sect was in charge at the time.
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  #19  
Old 04-18-2013, 03:25 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Doesn't really apply in my case.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:04 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Ariel: You ever heard of the Masada? For two years, 900 Jews held their own against 15,000 Roman soldiers. They chose death before enslavement. The Romans? Where are they now?

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  #21  
Old 04-18-2013, 04:59 PM
Ají de Gallina Ají de Gallina is offline
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With only very minor nobility on the family, an uncle traced our family to the 13th century.
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  #22  
Old 04-18-2013, 06:25 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
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Originally Posted by Asympotically fat View Post
I can quite reliably trace by ancestry back to the 13th century just from a few fairly simple internet searches.

There's a few Lords and a Lord Justice and a lot of baronets, but no-one of prime importance in the lineage I can trace.
Since I can benefit from the 10 years statute of limitation for "being wrong on the internet", I now admit freely to the fact that I was indeed wrong on this topic in 2002.

I failed to take into account descent in female line, as far as I can tell.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2013, 06:44 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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I thought the rule was 10 days!


I'm fucked.
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2013, 06:51 PM
Johanna Johanna is online now
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I to am a decedent
Oh dear, I hope not! But you are apparently still alive. Never heard of anyone posting from beyond the grave.
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  #25  
Old 04-18-2013, 07:06 PM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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My wife was into genealogy in a serious way. Her ancestors came from Normandy and since they were landed gentry, their names were recorded as a matter of record. So, she had a traceable bloodline back to 915 CE. Those people eventually came across the Channel during the conquest and were given lands in the Channel Isles.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:38 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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There are two kinds of people: the people who can trace their ancestry, and the people whose ancestry records were burned by the first kind. I belong to the second kind of people.
And those who can trace their ancestry because the father of the person who had the records burned had made copies.
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  #27  
Old 04-19-2013, 05:12 AM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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  #28  
Old 04-19-2013, 06:28 AM
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Johanna:

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Never heard of anyone posting from beyond the grave.
Not even in a zombie thread?
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  #29  
Old 07-07-2013, 11:30 AM
naita naita is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
There are too many obvious fallacies in this post to counter them all. First of all, I was not talking about direct male descent. Queen Elizabeth (and all royals in Europe) are known descendents of Charlemagne. This is not a disputable fact.

Secondly, there are not two distinct groups of people: the nobles and commons for the last 1000+ years. People intermarry.

I will give a couple of examples from my own genealogy.

I am descended from Hannah Schenck (1833-1863). My mother has old photos of two of her (longer lived) brothers. Hannah came from one of the most prominent early Dutch families of New York (New Amsterdam). One of her ancestors was the first European settler on Long Island. There are shelves of books on the genealogy of these familes. Her ggggg-grandfather was Martin Schenck van Nydeck (1584-1650). The first Schenck in America. Martin's ancestors were minor nobles in Holland. His g-grandfather was Lord of Afferden. From there, you're in the Dutch Royal Family database. You soon hit Adelheit van Buren (heard of the van Burens?) and thence into more prominent nobles, etc. up to Judith, princess of the West Franks and then Charles de Groot (as he is given in the Dutch databases).

Given the family's prominence and success and the centuries involved, I would guesstimate that 10% of all Americans are descended from these early Dutch families. Other prominent families from that era include the Brokaws (as in Tom) and the Bogarts (as in Humphrey). And thus also descended from Charlemagne just via this one branch alone. And there's a lot of other branches to consider.

Example 2. I wanted to find a direct link to the old Norwegian kings on my father's side. What I had to start with: a family history written in the 1920's that lists my g-grandfather's generation and 3 generations back (to before 1800). The family history has since been confirmed by Norwegian parish and census records. I found all of the ancestors alive at the time in the 1801 Norwegian national census available at the Digital Archive.

One of the ancestor's listed in the family census was living with her parents and a very old grandfather in the 1801 census. Tracking down the grandfather in parish records and earlier censuses led me to his grandfather (with the same name on the same farm) who lived (c1642-1714). That's far enough back to use a really great GedCom file austring that covers many of the prominent people in Rogaland going back to the early kings. It is extrememly well documented (unlike 99% of the GedComs out there). In no time I was linked to Sæbjørn Toresson (1510-1578). Quoting from the austring file:

"Most persons with roots in Ryfylke (Rogaland) can trace descent through Sæbjørn Toresson, back to a number of famous Scandinavians of the Middle Ages, including many of the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish kings between Harald Fairhair and Håkon IV."

The file gives the actual links to Harald Fairhair (860-943). From there, you move into the Kings of the sagas, which give another 1000 years of genealogy to Njord of Noatun, god-King of the Swedes.

Note that almost everyone with an ancestor from Rogaland is therefore descended from a known line going back around 2000 years (at least 1400 of which is historical). You just need to know how to get back to someone relatively prominent in the 1801 census or earlier.

If you have an ancestor from Buskerud Amt in Norway, there's similar files giving links back to Halvdan "the Black". And no doubt likewise for the other Norwegian counties.
Just reviving this to point out that the last few paragraphs are only true if one has a very loose definition of what constitutes documentation. No modern day scholarly (i.e. relying on good evidence instead of guesswork and heavy conjecture) genealogist recognizes any Norwegian family line going beyond the black death, except for the top noble lines, and even those fall apart well before you reach the Viking age and Harald Fairhair.

There are however lots of sources for dubious lineages going back that far, but they all rely on shoddy analysis of available records or outright fraud, some of it commited by 18th and 19th century academics and accepted as gospel by 20th century genealogists.
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  #30  
Old 07-07-2013, 05:53 PM
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I'm a direct descendant of Edward the Childless.
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  #31  
Old 07-07-2013, 06:07 PM
Pai325 Pai325 is offline
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I enjoy genealogy, but go back not too far and we were German peasants. No real records, even though I've been to the little Bavarian town they came from and to the archives in Regensburg. That line just stops around 1820. My English line stops in the early 1700s. They just weren't important enough, so I know I will never get to Roman ancestry.
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  #32  
Old 07-07-2013, 06:10 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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So, your father was a Woman, was he?
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  #33  
Old 07-07-2013, 06:25 PM
Hypno-Toad Hypno-Toad is online now
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  #34  
Old 07-08-2013, 06:11 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is online now
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My family are dull, both sides lived in the Home Counties and did diddly-squat as domestic servants as far back as I can trace into the 18th Century
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  #35  
Old 07-08-2013, 09:31 AM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is online now
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Given the ethnic mixing that took place in Europe over the past 2000 years, I would be surprised if there are any white people who have no Ancient Roman ancestry. The Romans were everywhere - Spain, Gaul, Britain, Greece, Egypt, Judea, Libya, Asia Minor. Also, the Romans were a military and economic empire rather than a big happy family old boys club - There were people who would have been, say, of German, Greek, or Egyptian ethnic origin who were Roman citizens and presumably married into other Roman families, making everyone multi-ethnic to some extent.

The Vikings likewise traveled widely and would have left their DNA all over the place, even beyond Scandinavia. The Viking influence in the British Isles was tremendous and anyone with any British ancestry is almost certainly a Viking in some way. The Danelaw in England influenced the English language in England, and the Germanic Scots dialect is arguably more Scandinavian than English English. Despite being a garment associated primarily with Celts, the actual word "kilt" comes from a Scandinavian word meaning to tuck. Both the Scots and the French have a hybrid ethnic identity composed of Celtic and Germanic elements.

There aren't really any "pure ethnic <ethnicity>s" anywhere.
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  #36  
Old 07-08-2013, 11:49 AM
Bozuit Bozuit is online now
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Originally Posted by Malden Capell View Post
My family are dull, both sides lived in the Home Counties and did diddly-squat as domestic servants as far back as I can trace into the 18th Century
Nine generations you'll have 512 ancestors you could potentially trace through (if none are the same). Maybe there's something more interesting to be found.

Last edited by Bozuit; 07-08-2013 at 11:49 AM..
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  #37  
Old 07-08-2013, 12:32 PM
Bozuit Bozuit is online now
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Sorry, I suppose I meant to say "Nine generations ago ..." or something.
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  #38  
Old 07-09-2013, 07:20 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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Been away from the board a lot lately, so just now noticing this.

Anyway, there have been several threads similar to the OPs and quite related to the revival post (RP?) over the years. The advantage people in those later threads have is being able to post a link to the Wikipedia page on Descent From Antiquity. OTOH, that page keeps getting munged with and is currently in a poor state. But it's a place to start reading.
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  #39  
Old 07-09-2013, 08:04 AM
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When I started to research my tree, I discovered that there are two distinct kinds of genealogist: One group happily latches on to the smallest link, coincidence or similarity, and the other will not accept anything that is not supported by original documents.

It is no coincidence that the first group can trace their ancestry a lot further back than the latter. Whether their tree is accurate, or just a collection of random names, is open to conjecture.
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  #40  
Old 07-09-2013, 08:15 AM
naita naita is online now
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Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
When I started to research my tree, I discovered that there are two distinct kinds of genealogist: One group happily latches on to the smallest link, coincidence or similarity, and the other will not accept anything that is not supported by original documents.

It is no coincidence that the first group can trace their ancestry a lot further back than the latter. Whether their tree is accurate, or just a collection of random names, is open to conjecture.
I've found stuff compiled by the first group while looking for information about my distant US cousins where they'd uncritically used the US census and added two people with the same name and birth year as one person with two wives and all the accompanying children. When one does such things, or accept data from others without checking if they're the kind of person who does such things, one isn't a genealogist, but a name collector.

And without going to official or first hand sources you never know if somewhere in the chain from the data you're offered and the original source there isn't a name collector who's just accepted something that sort of fit what they were looking for.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:58 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
When I started to research my tree, I discovered that there are two distinct kinds of genealogist: One group happily latches on to the smallest link, coincidence or similarity, and the other will not accept anything that is not supported by original documents.

It is no coincidence that the first group can trace their ancestry a lot further back than the latter. Whether their tree is accurate, or just a collection of random names, is open to conjecture.
My family go by church records [births, deaths, marriages, christenings] and ships records. It is a squeeze, but we just barely got back to mid 1200s in France because the French bunch smartened up and bailed out to the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Britain just before the guillotine came down. [in a manner of speaking, we had some advantageous marriages and a few diplomatic postings, and a couple outright evacuations before the mobs could get there.]
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:15 PM
Bozuit Bozuit is online now
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Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
It is a squeeze, but we just barely got back to mid 1200s in France because the French bunch smartened up and bailed out to the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Britain just before the guillotine came down.
In the 13th century?

Or am I missing something?
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:36 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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In the 13th century?

Or am I missing something?
The guillotine came down for the French Revolution, though thanks to marriages out of France, some data existed for carrying the French lineage portion of my mongrel family back past the French Revolution to other european countries, which pushed the ability to find records back to the 1200s as family bibles and other records existed in cadet line possession. IOW, the French records got burned, but copies and references existed because of marriages out of France happening, so we could do an end run around the revolutionary damage and pick up the broken threads and continue back.

While it would be a hoot to be able to go back to Roman Gaul, it isn't going to happen, unless there is something at the Vatican archives. My 1200s ancestoress did not spring from some dieties forehead fully formed, but we can legitimately not find a reference to her parentage, just her marriage record to a count in a church record. He also was ended as a source, he was given a county and moved in to it and got married, we have no record of where he came from. We are assuming he did something really spiffy in combat so the king gave him a title and land. <shrug, it has to start somewhere, otherwise it is turtles all the way down.>
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:10 AM
Bozuit Bozuit is online now
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Ah, I see. I read your post as saying you couldn't trace further back than the 1200s because of the French Revolution, rather than that you were able to reach that far back because your ancestors avoided it.

Is this a common issue with French records?
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:24 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Originally Posted by Bozuit View Post
Ah, I see. I read your post as saying you couldn't trace further back than the 1200s because of the French Revolution, rather than that you were able to reach that far back because your ancestors avoided it.

Is this a common issue with French records?
Fairly frequently - a similar issue is possible in Britain also - political upheavals resulting in revolutionaries burning records, and Henry 8th burning Catholic church records [and churches too.] When the Soviets took over in Russia, a fair number of records got fried there as well.

I admit I am fairly lazy, what I really need to do is get the German and British Isles sets of family finished - I need to actually spend about 2 years actually over there going through the records myself, I dislike scans and photocopies.
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