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How Big Is Your Family Tree?

From Wikipedia:

Familial generation

It is important to distinguish between familial and cultural generations. A familial generation is defined as the average time between a mother's first offspring and her daughter's first offspring. The generation length is 25.2 years in the United States as of 2007[1] and 27.4 years in the United Kingdom as of 2004[2].


Each person has two Parents, four Grandparents, eight Great-Grandparents and so on. Thats called exponential growth. Each generation doubles the number in the one befor.

Figuring about 25 years per generation do you realize that in twenty generation, 500 years, you will have just over one-million [ 1,048,576 to be exact ] ancestors. In eighty generations, 2000 years, you will have something like 83,731,080 ancestors. At some point you will have more ancestors than the number of people that have ever lived on the Earth. This is patently impossible. So what's the answer you ask? Well.........about all I can say is, "Hi cousin!"

No one can have more ancestors than people that have ever lived. That means that we are all related somehow. No ones family tree can keep expanding exponentialy. At some point the number of ancestors has to start to shrink down each generation. We all share common ancestors somewhere back in the deep dark past.

Just think, everyone you meet, everyone you walk past, everyone you see is related to you in some way. Remember that guy who cut you off in traffic on the way home from work. Your related. And you told him he was number one in your book. Remember that call to the "help" line. The person on the other end couldn't speak English. Your related. Just something to think about.

A research group took geneticsamples from thousands of people all over the globe and traced the DNA back through time. The oldest DNA seems to originate in Africa. Everyone has descended from this group of early people.


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Last Updated, 2009