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Well I never.
(Also, Clinton is a distant relative of Kerouac - this amuses me.)
Obama's also a distant cousin of Cheney.
I'm sure I'm probably related to half this board if 12th cousins were taken into account.
Did anyone else daydream as a child about some distant relatives arriving on their doorstep, relatives who were foreign and exotic and ran a cafe in Tangiers, or a ranch in Mexico, or a gold mine in Siberia? No? Just me then...
jobs for the boys etc.
or is it actually really annoying what these genealogical societies are doing? like thanks, i'll look into that myself if i want. it's like an intrusion.
But at the same time that information is freely available, and even if you didn't want it coming out you couldn't know which information to request to be kept a secret until you'd already done the research...
My aunt was doing some research into my family a few years back. I wonder if she got anywhere. Apparently, I have some French noblewoman as a great-great-grandmother, in amongst the Wolverhampton coal miners and stablelads. That must be worth something.
it's just annoying. like why are you looking up *my* family history? keep to your own business.
the society person was all like, oh it means they have more in common than they think, and the article was all like, ooh and these relations add a splash of glamor, blah blah blah, and i know they're just meaningless offhand remarks, but they sort of make me peeved, and the whole "special genealogy" thing, though just a matter of interest, not importance, does the same because america's supposed to be a place where it doesn't matter who your relatives are, it matters who you are (though that's not actually wholly the case, but it's how it's supposed to be). and i know the article and the researchers and everyone aren't saying that it matters, it's just one of those things that sort of irrationally bugs me. mainly though it's the mind-your-own-family tree thing.
it's so stupid.
ps: they came from africa initially, you know that much at least.
pps: i think you can actually trace the journeys of your ancestors through your genetic information with like the human genome project or some or another association. but like, it can't tell you who all your specific ancestors were.
Mass migration of humans didn't really start until the discovery of the New World, and we know the genetic makeup of people in areas around the world at that time. So you can analyse somebody's genes and find out their genetic ancestry.
There was that program ("Who Do You Think You Are?" I think) where they did this. There was this really racist BNP guy, a real skinhead, and it turned out he was a third African or something. I think most people have the odd wild card in there somewhere.
yeah, that's what i meant, with the geography.
i saw a program that involved doing this, but about finding the real life scientific "Adam".
I was reading about how chlamydia was brought to Europe from the Americas by Christopher Columbus. Chlamydia was a disease only found in certain parts of South America, and some of the sailors on board the Santa Maria raped some locals, brought it back to Lisbon, and then it spread from there. And they used genetic tracing techniques to follow it all the way back to these less than a dozen careless guys...
More about whether they had interesting lives. Hence my little childhood dreams I mentioned up there. Comes from a very standard, dull suburban upbringing I think.
But the very nature of family trees mean that if you start researching one person's family tree you're going to end up researching everyone's.
I think I'm more annoyed by the media reaction, really. As you say, America really is such a meritocracy these days...
but i'll bet you they specifically researched the candidates' family histories.
But considering how distant these relatives they've found are, they will have had to research a hundred "ordinary" people before finding anyone with any fame attached to the name - and I bet those are the same odds for anyone.
It's also tradition in the US for people to be proud of their ancestry, isn't it? Like those Wasps who can trace their family line from the Mayflower down.
Yeah, sort of. I mean, I wouldn't call it tradition, but yeah, like when you're in school you usually get like a "write about one of your ancestors" assignment. And it's sometimes a topic of conversation amongst people. But everyone places a different amount of importance on their heritage. Like I like knowing the stories of my ancestors and where they came from and all, but I don't put much stock in it. It doesn't change who I am as a person. Like I wouldn't be a better person for having a fancier lineage, etc. Like for example, the fact that many of my ancestors were really tough and hard-working doesn't make me any tougher. I'm a wuss.
I was born in Berkeley, lived there until I was 7 - in kindergarten I remember how my parents knew absolutely nothing about my ancestors, because they're British, and come from a long line of working class peasants and serfs. Every other kid spent ages talking about how they were parts Greek/Italian/German/Irish/French/Spanish/whatever.
I think there's more of an emphasis on ancestry the higher class you get in America, because of a kind of vacuum caused by a lack of aristocracy compared to Europe. These media reports are symptomatic of it - politicians in the US are just as much celebrities as policy makers, to an extent unheard of in most countries over here.
"The ties of the US Democratic rivals were established by a respected US genealogical organisation after three years' investigation."
three years work... why bother, really?