Henry IV of England is your 24th great grandfather.

Started by Private User on Friday, August 16, 2013
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9/2/2013 at 7:58 AM

Judy, Maybe I didn't explain it very well. I'm not saying that men always look like their fathers. I'm saying that I look like my father. Certainly, I have other men in my family who look like their mothers, or look like a blend, or don't look very much like either parent.

I have a sister and a half-sister who look so much alike you'd think they were twins. Neither of them looks much like our dad, but their build and their facial features have to come from him. It's probably also significant that our two mothers, although not related to each other, had a similar look -- our dad's "type".

And Behn, you have a very relevant point. People see what they expect to see. I have a half-brother who also looks like my dad. He gets the same reaction I do from relatives -- OMG, you look just like your dad. But, most people wouldn't guess that he and I are brothers. He and I look like our dad, but in different ways.

Probably, most people on Geni could multiply these examples endlessly. On one hand, people look like their relatives. On the other hand, it doesn't prove anything if two people look alike.

9/2/2013 at 8:05 AM

Exceptions, of course arise, when for example, a certain branches DNA additives, are added in on multiple occasions, through time...
For example, Adams line, from mid 1700's get's a second kick of Adams through a marriage with a distant descendant of Adams, but through many female lines and therefore, surnamed, lets say, Whitney.
Whitney and Miss Adams have descendants, too... Theoretically, say about 1820...
Then, another 6 generations later a Whitney descendant marries say, a Grosvenor who is also, a same line of Adams descendent...
And they have children.
I believe, it is in these cases, that Dale is locating these types of "classic" and recognizable family traits & resemblances.
Just my 2cents...

9/2/2013 at 8:28 AM

Theresa, yes that's the argument Dale is making. He is still seeing the Tudor face after 14 generations because of cousin marriages with his ancestry. I tried to explain above why the "additive effect" is both intuitive and wrong.

At each generation the DNA is being chopped into smaller and smaller pieces. So, even though a cousin marriage increases the chances that children will inherit more of the original DNA, they actually inherit smaller and smaller slices. So, even if they might theoretically inherit almost as much totally as their parents' did, it's still diluted even from what their parents had.

As I said earlier, this isn't intuitive but it makes sense when you begin to model DNA inheritance through actual examples.

I also see it working this way among my relatives. I have relatives who are the children of 1st and 2nd cousins. What's striking to me is that none of them look exactly like one of their parents' common ancestors. They seem to be more likely to resemble other relatives on that side than on another side, but they usually end up with just a general resemblance -- as though they were another sibling or cousin.

9/2/2013 at 9:37 AM

The "additive effect" is something of a red herring. In fact, the dilution effect is stronger. Think about it this way:

There are probably dozens of genes that create the individual human face. A page back we were talking about COL17A1, which has been shown to affect distance between the eyes.

Henry Tudor had two copies of that gene. One or both of them gave him the specific distance between his eyes. Now, suppose that someone has 6 or 7 descents from Henry, and that those descents are all maybe 15 generations ago.

At each generation since Henry there is a 50/50 chance that a child will inherit the gene for that specific distance between the eyes.

Someone pointed out a few weeks ago on another thread that you can model this for yourself. Flip a coin for each generation. Heads, the child got the gene. Tails, the child didn't get the gene. Do this 15 times, once for each generation. What are the chances you'll get heads 15 times in a row? That's the basic probability of getting that gene with one line of descent.

Now repeat this for each different line from Henry. If there are 6 or 7 lines from Henry, flip the coin as many times as it takes to get a result for each generation along every line. What are the chances that you'll get heads 15 times in a row on one of them? That's the "additive affect" you get from multiple descents.

Now do the same thing for a dozen different facial features. What are the odds that you get heads 15 times in a row for all 12 features? That's the odds of ending up with Henry's face through one of descent. So, do it again for 6 or 7 lines of descent. The odds are better, but the odds are still astronomical that you'll get heads 15 times in a row for 12 different features, even if you repeat it 6 or 7 times for each line of descent.

Of course, the problem is complicated by the fact that Henry Tudor's version of the COL17A1 gene wasn't just his. It would be a common variation, one of an unknown number of variations floating around in the general population. So, there is also a chance that someone in all those 15 generations will get the same variation, or something similar, from a non-Tudor source.

If that happens, it might look like proof that the Tudor COL17A1 survived to a recent generation, or that it was added back in from a different Tudor line, but really it's from another source. And, because it doesn't have to be the same gene, just something similar, the odds are actually better that the Tudor face can be assembled out of the general population from non-Tudor sources than that it can survive the generations using just Tudor genes.

Private User
9/2/2013 at 9:51 AM

Not to mention the argument that there are basically "12 Standard Faces", and most people fit more or less into one of the twelve. This is why one keeps running into people who remind one of Aunt Martha or Great-Uncle Ted or best friend from grade school or even "properly dressed up they'd look just like that portrait of Lord/Lady X".

9/2/2013 at 9:56 AM


9/2/2013 at 11:43 AM

I love our community here at GENI: some of us are slower on the uptake of data....and incorporating it into a world view suddently expanded is no small task...and understand that it takes a willingness to amend modes of thinking that most are averse to. That is not me, I am willing to move along once Im sure Im understanding the why and wehrefores....so it would be ungenerous to demand a RUSH to those changes.....At last count we are 18 generations away from some of these people and that's all the more the miracle of looking like it was 1950 rather than 1400 when they made a first appearance....for all we know....these ancestors pop into view just to let us know, that they were here first...and we live on the other side of the physical vail and don't have a clue....lets all take deep breaths and enjoy the sensation of our lungs filling with air......As we are all cousins at some deep time event....we can afford the luxury of being kind and patient with each other.....YES? DCR 1948

9/2/2013 at 12:07 PM


9/2/2013 at 12:15 PM

HELLO MS. DEA!!! You are my sixth great uncles first cousin 9 times removed!! My niece was a teacher in Grass Pants (LOL insider joke) for 3 or 4 years back in the early 1990's. Anyway thanks for your vote!!! Im treading water here and it's way deep....LOL DCR

9/2/2013 at 1:08 PM

(No Name), you are right. DNA is very complicated. Most people will skip my messages. It doesn't matter. I'm explaining to Dale. He's the only one who needs to understand ;)

I know I look like a Swede or a Finn. I have a Swedish name. Some people say they can spot me as a Swede or Finn. Some Geni users write to me in Swedish because they think I'm a Swede. I have a Swedish grandfather, but my other ancestors came from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. On a full DNA test I look 100% Swedish, but that's not true. My DNA is a chance combination of many nationalities that just happen to look Swedish when they're all mixed together.

And, I know I look a little like Henry IV. I am descended many, many times from his brothers and sisters. But, it's also just chance that I look like him. No one else in my family looks like him ;)

9/2/2013 at 1:38 PM

The fantastic resource that GENI presents is the less direct but more insightful RELATEDNESS lines of Connection.....For example, I might know that so and so is my 5th great grand father or mother, but not know that the person's who have the same names are married into that line, or born to it without marriage....So the deeper relatedness that can trigger a look in a new direction is had by following the bread crumb trail from cousin to cousin by marriage....and then looking at the downline family members....THAT's exactly how I found Mercer to Tudor relatedness....So I am once again in DEBT to the pioneers at GENI for seeing this in advance setting the system so we can check more deeply into our relatednesss....That's a level of 2nd sight SEEING that is way Cool and WAY approaching GENIUS insight all performed by the Developers here and the cared for by the Docents.....Many THANKS. DCR 1948

Private User
9/4/2013 at 6:36 AM


9/4/2013 at 9:14 AM


Private User
9/4/2013 at 9:25 AM

@That´s unbelievebel but of cource very interesting!!!

Private User
9/4/2013 at 7:56 PM

I am all mix up too!I look like I got everything in me! Now I understand how so many people thought I look like their sister in many different countries. So surprise about Chinese and Jewish blood and Arab ! Russian the list could go on. Glad my parents love people because if I we like some I probley not like the fact so much culture are there. I am glad.

9/6/2013 at 2:21 PM

Now I understand why he's just a fifth cousin 14 times removed, our noses are really very different.......

9/9/2013 at 11:46 AM

A. Saarinen

Thanks for the connections between such historical and contemporary influential figures. Looking through the lines I find it interesting that I am more closely related to Prince William, an 11th cousin once removed, than President Obama, a 15th cousin, twice removed.

However, since both Prince William, Barack Obama and I are descended from the Prophet Mohammed, (PBUH) we have another connection.

For those who are reading this, my use of PBUH above does not mean I am a Muslim, I am not, I am a Catholic. However, since Muslims also use PBUH when speaking of Jesus, I feel it is appropriate to show respect for the beliefs of Muslims when discussing this with one.

Oh, bet a lot of you did not know that about Muslims and Jesus. Who, BTW, is also a cousin of mine.

9/9/2013 at 11:49 AM

Actually, my genealogical connection to Jesus is much more complicated than just 'cousin', but it's got too many steps for me to remember.

9/10/2013 at 2:20 AM

Cleopatra Tryphaena, Queen of Syria is your 54th great grandmother.
→ Linda Sue Cox
your mother → Gladys Mae Lockwood Tyler (Kelley)
her mother → Vivian Lucille Kelley/Payne/Smith (Cromer)
her mother → Floyd Francis Cromer
her father → Elizabeth Ann Cromer (Grosvenor)
his mother → Araminta Margaret Grosvenor (Whitney) Houser
her mother → Francis Tufts Whitney
her father → Joseph Whitney
his father → Benjamin Whitney
his father → John Whitney
his father → Benjamin Whitney
his father → Elinor (Ellen) Whitney
his mother → Thomas Bray
her father → Sir John Bray
his father → Beatrice Bray (Shirley)
his mother → Sir Richard Sherley of Wiston
her father → Ralph Shirley of Staunton Harold
his father → Elizabeth Blount
his mother → Sir Thomas Blount, Kt.
her father → Sancha Blount, Lady de Ayala
his mother → D. Inés Alfonso de Ayala, señora de Malpica
her mother → D. Fernán Pérez, IX señor de Ayala
her father → Sancha Fernández Barroso
his mother → Mencia Garcia de Sotomayor
her mother → Garci Méndez (Meléndez) de Sotomayor, conquistador de Córdoba
her father → Pedro de Sotomayor, señor de Crecente y Fornelos
his father → Men Pais Sored de Sotomayor, I señor de Sotomayor
his father → Payo Mendez Sorrez
his father → Garcia Sorrez
his father → Sancho Sorrez
his father → Sorred Fernández de Saavedra, Señor de Sotomayor
his father → Ylduara / Aldara Arias
his mother → Ylduara Lúcida
her mother → Arceriunda
her mother → Sévériano de Cartagena, Conde de Cartagena
her father → Aviena
his mother → Rufius Gennadius Avienus
her father → Rufus Viventius Gallus
his father → Anastasia
his mother → Rufius Postumianus
her father → Postumius Rufius
his father → Petronia
his mother → Anicia
her mother → Amnia Demetrias
her mother → Flavia Minor
her mother → Claudia Capitolina
her mother → Tiberius Claudius Bassus Capitolinus
her father → Tiberius Claudius Capitolinus
his father → Tiberius Claudius Capitolinus
his father → Tiberius Claudius Capitolinus
his father → Tiberius Claudius Balbillus
his father → Aka of Media Atropatene
his mother → Athenais
her mother → Antiochos I Théos, King of Commagene
her father → Laodice VII Thea Philadelphus
his mother → Cleopatra Tryphaena, Queen of Syria
her mother
King of Syria and his wife, from Egypt.


Private User
9/10/2013 at 6:58 AM

I too have a complex way to Jesus! But that okay it made me realize the human side of him!

9/10/2013 at 10:48 AM

Judy and Donna

You understood exactly what I was saying. The complexity of our heritage shows just how everyone is connected to everyone else.

After all, I am also descended from Attila the Hun according to this record, and he was hardly Catholic. Though I would bet a great many of his descendants are. Go back far enough and we trace through a whole lot of places we never expected. I never expected China in my line, but there it is.

9/10/2013 at 11:08 AM

Remarkable. But I am also related to Oetzi the Iceman through DNA grouping. What's interesting is the migration pattern of humans and how they reproduced over the years gradually landing in places in Northern Europe and beyond. I'm not descended from Jesus family but I am from both Abraham and PHUB. They are far off grandfathers. I don't think fictional.

9/11/2013 at 10:31 AM

DNA grouping shows you are of the same group, but it also shows relationship, as the genetics requires a family connection. It just doesn't show what the connection is. I share your interest in migration patterns. Long ago I came to the conclusion that, if you go back far enough, you are descended from everyone one who lived then who has any surviving descendants. Simple math shows it's an incredibly small chance that anyone then is not your ancestor unless his or her entire line died off shortly after that person lived.

Which is how I explained to my grand daughter when she asked if I really believed we were descendents of someone who lived 3,000 years ago. Yes, there are few records, but few is enough, and the mathematical certainty is clear.

9/12/2013 at 5:40 AM

Good Morning Mr. Klahn.

I believe I came to the same conclusion that you have pointed out. There is a great possibility that we are descendants (or are related) from almost everyone alive some seven hundred years ago. As I said formerly, when we get to our 25th line of ancestors, (Considering the line of our parents as Nº 1), the number of persons is 33,554,432.00. By then, neither your country nor mine had that population. So that number, which is result of (x2) progression is only theoretical, since many of those ancestors are the same persons. If we consider the line of descendants (Not anymore a x2 progression) the possibilities are even greater. What puzzles me as I said before, is the way a determined gen can survive intact through all those descendants and become a particle of memory that will give you a Dejá vu once in a while. I understand that memory has much to do with your RNA, does RNA have the same nature as DNA in what refers to genetic inheritance ?

9/13/2013 at 1:26 AM

I have been following this line of comments with some interest because as you point out if we go back far enough we are all related in some way or other, so much so that it does become rather meaningless ie 9th cousin 15 times removed etc. There are no doubt millions of people who are related to me on that basis alone.That is why I am really only interested in grand fathers/mothers and uncles/aunts. Interestingly Edward the Third is my 18th GGF but this depends on which line I go back eg Henry the second is my 22 GGF but Henry the first is my 21st GGF and no doubt this will change as I continue my search. Once I got over the excitement of being related to not one but dozens of Kings of England Scotland France etc I became fascinated, and amazed, not with this, but the fact that through GENI such information was available even if it is not always correct. It is fun though and I have met some living, close relatives, eg 2nd cousins, that I did not know existed.

9/13/2013 at 4:55 AM

Here. here Brian. I think Geni, fantastic as it is, seems to be a vehicle for medieval trawlers of genealogy. As you suggest, we're all attached to the same 25 th great grandpas. It's no big deal to say you're King John's direct ancestor, when the whole western world at least can claim the same fame. My interest is far more lateral, i.e. who am I second, third, fourth .... cousin of. I'm currently connecting with a seventh cousin filling in gaps of our 1750's born common GGGGGF. To me that's far more interesting, if not aristocratic!

9/13/2013 at 7:44 AM

One of the things I find remarkable especially for those of us of European descent is the monumental upheavals and wars all of our ancestors survived, including the Black Plague. Everyone of us is hear because some survived it. Given where they came from I always wonder how they escaped it. Did they live in more isolated communities, have a genetic resistance or stronger immune system or just better sanitation practices?

Private User
9/13/2013 at 8:09 AM

@Vicki Lee Honel, there is a theory that one per cent of the population with European origins is immune to Aids due to genes inherited from those ancestors who survived the Black Plague.
An Aids patient, called the "Berlin patient" was cured two years ago, given stem cells taken from someone with these genes.

9/13/2013 at 9:00 AM

Very interesting.

9/13/2013 at 9:31 AM

Jungian psychology has a time-tested way of dealing with ancestry at a very depth level...that goes beyond the lists of genealogy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBk6IJFu_8E

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