Sunday, August 13, 2006


Interesting article from the WaPo on what we all share with Brooke Shields (descendant of Charlemagne, El Cid, and William the Conqueror):
Star Is Descended From Kings. Of Course, Most People Are

By Matt Crenson
Associated Press
Sunday, August 13, 2006; A07

...Even without a documented connection to a notable forebear, experts say, the odds are virtually 100 percent that every person on Earth is descended from one royal personage or another.

...Take King Edward III, who ruled England during the 14th century and had nine children who survived to adulthood. Among his documented descendants are presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Zachary Taylor, both Roosevelts), authors (Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning), generals (Robert E. Lee), scientists (Charles Darwin) and actors (Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Brooke Shields). Some experts estimate that 80 percent of England's present population descends from Edward III...

...The longer ago somebody lived, the more descendants that person is likely to have today. Humphrys estimates that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, appears on the family tree of every person in the Western world.

Full article.
Fascinating. If it's true that everyone is related to kings, our family must be one with a "lost in the mists of time" connection to royalty. 'Cuz we got nada!

The only connection we have to anything of the sort is that my Austrian grandmother, Oma, was herself the granddaughter of the Baroness Marie Mottl, who was in turn the daughter of the Baron Rudolf Sohinga de Rostenfeld and the Baroness Johanna Sohinga de Rostenfeld. But that's it.

(And "Baron" is a title you could pretty much buy in the old country, if you were wealthy. So I suspect that they were probably just a bit nouveau riche. "Baron" really wasn't a royal title back then, in the same way that knighthood isn't really knighthood anymore in England.)

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