Family Tree Tuesday – Charles Darwin

Posted July 26, 2011 by Amanda | 2 Comments

Charles Darwin

English naturalist Charles Darwin laid the foundation for evolution in his book On the Origin of Species. Published in 1859, Darwin introduced the theory that populations evolved overtime through the process of natural selection. His revolutionary theory has become a fundamental tenet in the life sciences and in explaining the diversity of life. Today, Darwin is considered one of the most influential figures in human history.

Born in 1809, Darwin was the fifth of six children of Robert Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood. His father was a wealthy medical doctor and financier and funded Charles’ historic voyage on the HMS Beagle.

The Darwin-Wedgwood family produced many prominent intellectuals and financiers. Darwin’s maternal grandfather was Josiah Wedgwood, an English potter and founder of the Wedgwood pottery company. He is credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. Darwin’s paternal grandfather was Erasmus Darwin. Erasmus was a physician and one of the leading thinkers of the 18th century. As a naturalist philosopher, Erasmus proposed a theory of evolution similar to that of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.

Sir Francis Galton

Did you know that Charles’s first cousin is prominent statistician Sir Francis Galton? Known as the “Father of Eugenics,” Galton coined the phrase “nature vs. nurture.”

In 1839, Charles married his first cousin, Emma Darwin, and together they had ten children. His son, George, became an astronomer and mathematician, while his other son, Francis, followed in his father’s footsteps and studied botany.

Check out Charles Darwin’s family tree and see how you’re related!

Charles Darwin's Family Tree


Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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