This is a subject that has often interested me but when I began researching my family history in 1997 it was far from my mind. The idea that I could be descended from Royalty was for me simply not possible.
The reason why I believed this is because I had very little understanding of genealogical mathematics and how family connections came together. It took 14 years of research before I found a connection with Royalty, but when I did the links kept appearing everywhere. The reason why is because I worked very hard on my hobby and spent so long researching every single branch that my chances of discovering such links kept increasing with every generation I added.
I don’t often speak about these connections in person to people because most of my family and friends have no interest in genealogy and many live by the same ideas that I did when I first began researching. That Royal links are just not possible, some of the responses I have had are;
So why don’t you live in a castle?
Why aren’t you the king of England?
So how come’s you work in a supermarket?
Regardless of these comments and whatever your background, a link to royalty might be lurking somewhere in your family’s past.
The power of the mathematics of genealogy is vastly underrated. From just a few royal bed hoppers who lived many hundreds of years ago there are estimated to be millions of descendants walking amongst us today.
The 13 monarchs who reigned between 1066 and 1485 fathered at least 40 bastards between them. Henry II leads the field with around 20. Descendants of Edward III, legitimate or otherwise, are believed to be in excess of 4 millions. Some experts believe that practically everyone alive with British ancestry will have a connection with this king.
If we look at genealogical mathematics and do a little number crunching, you will find that the world population in 1000 AD is estimated to be around; 310,000,000
At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) England probably had a population of about 2 million. (Much less than in Roman times). However the population grew rapidly. It may have reached about 5 or 6 million by the end of the 13th century.
So how many ancestors did we have, who were living in 1000 AD, which is approximately 32 generations in the past, now here comes the big number; 3,623,878,656
We basically have more ancestors alive in 1000 AD, then the entire population of the world combined.
So we must descend from the same people, over and over again, and what is the likelihood that all Europeans descend from William the Conqueror, probably millions of times more likely, then not at all.
But the important thing about genealogical study, is not if we are descended from Royalty, but how. To do that, you need to research your family history and more importantly be committed.