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Re: Genealogy

Charlemagne flourished around 800 AD.  That's about 1200 years ago.
Take an average generation of 25 years.  That's 48 generations.
Assume for the sake of demonstration that each generation had two
children.  Then today Charlemagne would have
 281,474,976,710,656 descendants.

For comparison, there are about
       6,000,000,000 people alive on the planet at the moment.

Obviously some lines died out; some generations didn't have two children; etc.

Nonetheless, it would be easy for Charlemagne to be an ancestor of a great
many people living today.  For that matter, a great many of the living
adults of Europe that far back are probably ancestors of any given European
living today.

As Charlemagne or others being ancestors of all living humans, that I doubt.
There were barriers to migration and intermarriage until recently.

However, what if a New England sailor on a China clipper had Charlemagne
for an ancestor.  Even in only 8 generations or so from that sailor,
with large families it would be pretty easy for a few million Chinese to
be descendants of Charlemagne by now....

John S. Quarterman <jsq@quarterman.org>
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