Thankfully Distant Relations

I’m not a big ‘William the Conqueror’ fan. Yes, probably some of you out there wouldn’t care in the least about some guy who died over 900 years ago, but I do. We’re related, and I happen to believe that people are a little bit of all their ancestors.

Now I’m a direct line to Charlemagne, my 38th great-grandfather, and I don’t see that as a negative. Well, the biggest downside is that everyone seems to be related to him and I’m just not that much of a people lover. But William… well, I just can’t get over that Doomsday Book thing.

Anyway, I was in a mood to do some research this weekend so I decided to determine whether or not the path between William and I is straight or if it was crooked (as I hoped). I figured I would trace the connection between Charlemagne and William the Conqueror to figure it out. One of these days I’m going to make a picture book of my funny nose-wrinkling expressions while genealogically researching and seeing all the inter-marrying of the Merovingians, Carolingians, the Pippinids, the Robertians, the Capetians and pretty much any one else who lived during the times. Thankfully it’s not as bad as you might think, nor as frequent as rumor might have you believe, but probably once every generation for a good period of time there were a couple of pretty ‘close’ family tie ins.

A neat Charlemagne image.

Turns out that I can toast to being William the Conquerors 5th cousin 29 times removed. Thank goodness for small favors, not really a direct line I would have liked sharing.

Oh, and a small FYI for those not as into genealogy – in the reference of 5th cousin 29 times removed the five are steps sideways and the 29 are steps upward. Meaning that a 1st cousin 29 times removed would be vertically distant (the path of time in terms of generations) but still considered a close relation. While someone who is your 5th cousin and only say 4 times removed would be a much more distant blood relation because they are five steps sideways from your direct line.

So I obviously wasted a day proving to myself that I’m not closely related to the Doomsday William, but it makes me wonder what players in history other people do not want to end up being related to.

2 Comments

  1. Heather Monroe
    Dec 18, 2014

    Lucky you lol! William is my 28th great grand father. Interesting to note, President Monroe is my 2nd cousin 6x removed and Marilyn Monroe (Her mom was a Monroe) is my 6th cousin 2x removed. I am related to almost nothing but royalty and famous people. Is this common for Americans?

    • Nicole
      Jan 10, 2015

      Hello cousin! LOL, it does seem as if Americans are more commonly related to people who are royalty or famous, but I suppose it is probably skewing for natural history. For instance, many of the very poor people who lived in Western Europe during various periods of history were exposed to such extreme poverty that it wiped out whole families and their lines were destroyed. The more wealthy during that time did not suffer to the same degree, and their family grew. Similarly soldiers died in many wars over the years, but the more wealthy either were not in the military or they were officers who were not on the front lines. I suppose it’s sort of like people now who are descendants of those who survived the plague in Europe have a natural immunity to it because those are the only ones who lived on to have children 🙂 In a similar way, the people who went to America tended to be either extremely independent and self-sufficient types or the wealthy. Both types are likely to make a name for themselves in different ways.

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