Alfred the Great is my 32nd greatgrandfather, he was great because on the first hand he was an excellent warrior, he was the son of Ethelwulf and the brother of Ethelred ("Ethel" might be the saxon word for "Noble", in german it's Edel) he led several battles and fights against the Danish who invaded England in the year 871. His worst enemy was Guthrum. There are many legends and tales of Alfred being the guest of a peasant family when he had to hide for his life after a battle, the host's wife (they didn't know who he really was) made him take care of some muffins being cooked and while he was thinking of his revenge the muffins got burned, with the consequent nagging of the woman. He disguised himself as a Juglar, and went to the Danish settlements to find useful information. On the second hand, what made him great was his political wisdom and the way he incorporated the Danish to the countries of Mercia, Kent, Essex and Sussex, England did not exist as such yet. He even made Guthrum convert to christianity, made a profound research of the biblical principles and established the grounds of law for the various countries and founded schools for children. He invited scholars from France and spread Latin for the first time in England. He ruled for 28 years died in 899 and is buried in Winchester, God he was really GREAT. It's truly nice to know he is in the list of our ancestors !!!
By the way I am in London at this very moment. Yesterday I was in the British Museum, they have a magnificent collection of Anglo-Saxon objects on the right wing of the building. They also have some objects (Helmets, swords, spears, even the reproduction of an ancient Lire. Some of the objects belonged to Beowulf who is also an ancestor of this group.
To all of you claiming to have a relationship to Alfred, Geni said he was my 32nd great grandfather, but I checked my ancestry back to him, and there are so many doubts around my 10th ggf and 11th ggf, that my line should have been broken there. Have all of you checked your lines for doubtfullness or are you taking other peoples "research" for granted. I found something that most certainly is wrong in my line, will you?
Great point Remi. That happened with me with one of these notables too. I noticed that the relationship had too few steps and checked it out and of course it was wrong.
The way I see it is that as we work on the tree, the paths get more well sourced and hopefully more reliable. But with people before 1500, I take a relationship with a "grain of salt". Meaning I am skeptical.
And, Hatte, it's just in between 1600 and 1200 that we need to be most thorough. The Black Death (directly translated from norwegian) in 1350-1352 gives us a lot of problems. We need to separate the wheat from the chaff (hope you understand my proverb), and the chaff will need to go. If not the genealogical community will never take Geni seriously. Geni has been called a genealogical virus a long time among my fellow genealogists here in Norway, and we that are active here are frowned upon.
I'm very sorry to hear your fellow genealogists in Norway frown on your participation, Remi, but the line about a genealogical virus is kind of funny if you don't take it seriously.
For the many English lines descended from Kings Edward I and Edward III, the line back to Alfred is secure, but there is always going to be a high chance that the lines back to those later kings are flawed in some way.
It is true that a line of ascendence can have some errors, you´ll find that many ancestors had the same name, which can lead to deviations in the following of a bloodline. However, when we talk about such an ancient line, the probabilities that a path leads you to a determined person are very high, provided you have the genealogical basical information. Alfred the Great, for example, will have multiple lines of descendance which will connect in various points with a great number of persons in the Western World. The probability of having such a very ancient bloodline directly from father to son is rare as you all know, that is exactly what generates the titles of nobility. The positive part is that the interest on this subject, and the tools we have today, make it easier to decipher issues of the past, and slowly but accurately all those doubts can be overcome.