Why You’re Related to Everybody Else

All of us are related to everyone else. Yes, you are distantly related to me, to your next door neighbor, to Donald Trump, to Queen Elizabeth, to every Hollywood star, and to everyone locked up in penitentiaries. Being related to everyone means that you have (distant) cousins who are black, white, Oriental, Middle Eastern and indigenous people everywhere. Your cousins also include Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Shinto, Hindus, and other religions. If you go back in time, you are also related to Nefertiti, Confucius, Socrates, and Attila the Hun.

I wrote about these relationships in an earlier article at https://blog.eogn.com/2015/08/25/we-are-all-related-so-get-over-it/ but a newer video on YouTube uses graphics, cartoons, and more to provide an easier-to-understand visual explanation. You might want to watch the video at https://youtu.be/KgQFeq6tNcw and then go outdoors to greet all your newly-found relatives.

You can also watch the same video in the video player below:

5 Comments

A very interesting video. Sorry to see it is a blatant advertisement for Brilliant!

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If DNA testing and Ancestry’s conclusions on relationships are to be given some credence, then my children, both through me and their mother share some DNA with millions of those living in the USA today because of migration from the 17th century onwards. It is possible to build up a picture from some of the 34,000 hits on my sample and the 41,000 on my daughter’s, but other than perhaps supporting the theory that they basically come together eventually to a handful of families who dispersed from Warwickshire to the South West, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South East, every line stops well short of making that link

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An infomercial plus additional ads! Yikes! YouTube has seriously gone down strange roads with their flood of commercials in the last year or so.
Bottleneck populations are otherwise interesting. Mayflower, 102 passengers. Half died over that first winter, not all the remaining survivors reproduced. Multiple thousands of people can trace their ancestry back to some of them, and I’m one of those people.
Two offspring of Desire Doty (eldest daughter of Edward Doty and Faith Clarke) and William Sherman had offspring that married different relatives of some of my ancestors descended from Robert Carver (nephew of Gov John Carver of the Mayflower and his wife who died without issue). A few generations later two first cousins in the Carver line married, and a few more generations … here I am! There was a third Doty-Carver (second) marriage that was childless, but that was with one of Desire’s siblings; that Wm. Carver was documented as over 101 years old at his death, and he is also my ancestor via his first wife. To complicate things further, Desire Doty married three times, had children by all three men, outlived them all; one of her daughters by William Sherman married a son by her third husband, Alexander Standish and his first wife. No blood relationship, but it gives one an indication of why there are limited surnames with bottleneck populations, especially if they had large families. Edward and Faith Clarke Doty had a large family, and their offspring also had large families; ergo, many people descend from them (Edward’s Wikipedia page has a brief outline of his children and their spouses and number of children). I have another Mayflower connection with siblings of one passenger who arrived a few years later whose descendants are more (in)famous.
We may be related to everyone…, but do we want to claim a relationship to some of those people who are notorious liars and war criminals and whose pedigree lines inconveniently intersect with our own only some +/-400 years ago? I… think… not.
OTOH, when I did my DNA test via 23andMe, they claim King Richard III and I have a common female ancestor who lived some 13,000 years ago since we allegedly have the same haplogroup. The kicker is that I know more about the ancestors and descendants of Henry VII who defeated Richard at Bosworth Field than I do about Richard (I’ve read enough on the five generations of Tudors from Owen ap Meredith ap Tydier through to Queen Elizabeth I that I accidentally memorized the genealogy for five generations and overflowed one whole bookshelf).
Some genealogies are more interesting than others…. 🙂

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So, all modern humans are descended from only one couple, you think? Well, some of them have Neanderthal DNA, and isn’t that interesting?

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So, despite what appeared in one of the newsletters after this, I am related to Adam and Eve after all! That video proves it.

Seriously, the difference between genealogy and the “we’re all related” thing is, as they say, apples and oranges. Bonobos and chimps share DNA with humans, therefore you and I are related to creatures in zoos! Lets start figuring out which nth great-grandfather we have in common.

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